Arizona GOP censures House Speaker Rusty Bowers
Jul 20, 2022, 6:17 AM | Updated: 6:39 pm
(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
PHOENIX – The Arizona Republican Party’s executive committee censured House Speaker Rusty Bowers on Tuesday night, calling him “unfit to serve” the party’s platform or will of the voters.
Party Chair Kelli Ward told KTAR News 92.3 FM that the unanimous censure was due to Bowers going against the Republican party platform, sponsoring bills that are in direct opposition to the platform and resolutions the party has passed over time, as well as inaction on election integrity.
“Multiple things that led to the censure,” Ward said, adding it means he is no longer a Republican in good standing.
One thing that was not considered in the censure, Ward said, was Bowers’ testimony before the U.S. House’s Jan. 6 committee last month of the pressure he had faced from President Donald Trump and his allies to support decertification of the state’s 2020 presidential election.
“Absolutely zero,” Ward said. “The resolution is very clear, it’s very objective with bill numbers that were objected to by the executive committee and by members of the Republican party.
— Dr. Kelli Ward 🇺🇸 (@kelliwardaz) July 20, 2022
“We feel that Bowers has lost the confidence of a majority of the Republican party leaders as well as his colleagues in the legislature.”
Ward said the party encourages voters to remove Bowers from office in the impending primary election.
Bowers, speaker since 2019 and term-limited in the House, faces David Farnsworth in a state Senate race in the Aug. 2 primary.
The Mesa legislator in his testimony to the U.S. House’s Jan. 6 committee said he had told Trump on multiple occasions he would not do anything illegal to help the former president.
Prior to testifying, Bowers called the push to overturn the election results “juvenile.”
Bowers received a JFK Profile in Courage Award in the spring for resisting the efforts to decertify the results, which gave Democrat Joe Biden the state.
Since January 2021, the Arizona GOP also has censured Gov. Doug Ducey, Cindy McCain and former Sen. Jeff Flake.
The Associated Press and KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Debra Dale contributed to this report.