Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers to receive JFK Profile in Courage Award

Apr 21, 2022, 9:23 AM | Updated: 11:43 am

PHOENIX – Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers was selected to receive a JFK Profile in Courage Award for resisting efforts to overturn the state’s election results, joining Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and three others on the list of 2022 honorees, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation announced Thursday.

“I am very grateful for this honor yet cannot help but feel undeserving of it,” Bowers said in a press release from the Arizona House.

“Honoring my oath and the people’s choices at the ballot box are not heroic acts — they are the least that Arizonans should expect from the people elected to serve them.”

Bowers has defended the integrity of Arizona’s 2020 elections against attacks from former President Donald Trump and his supporters. He is running for a state Senate seat this year.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey congratulated his fellow Republican, calling the award an “incredible honor.”

“Rusty is a man of integrity and fully deserves this distinguished award,” Ducey tweeted.

Zelenskyy was cited for leading “a courageous defense of democratic ideals and political independence” during Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

Republican U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney of Wisconsin, Democratic Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, and Shaye Moss, an elections employee in Fulton County, Georgia, are the other recipients.

“The war in Ukraine has shown the world that we can’t take freedom for granted, and the courage of our elected officials in the U.S. reminds us that as citizens we each have a responsibility to protect our democracy and exercise our fundamental right to vote,” Caroline Kennedy, honorary president of the JFK Library Foundation, said in a press release from the group, which is the nonprofit partner of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

“This year’s honorees put their careers and lives on the line to stand up for democratic principles and the integrity of our elections. Their service and courage inspire us all.”

The foundation created the Profile in Courage Award in 1989 and presents it each year “to public servants who have made courageous decisions of conscience without regard for the personal or professional consequences.”

A bipartisan 15-member committee of national, political and community leaders selects the recipients. Harvard Law School Professor Martha Minow chairs the committee.

Past recipients include a pair of Congress members from Arizona, the late Sen. John McCain of Arizona and former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, as well as former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Barack Obama.

The 2022 awards ceremony is scheduled for May 22 at the JFK Library and Museum in Boston.

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Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers to receive JFK Profile in Courage Award