Trump endorses GOP rival to January 6 witness Rusty Bowers – Reuters

PHOENIX (AP) — Donald Trump on Wednesday endorsed the Republican race against Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers, who last week gave powerful testimony to the House committee investigating the US insurgency. January 6.

Bowers, who is barred by term limits from seeking another term in the Arizona House, is running for an open seat in the state Senate. Trump praised his chief GOP rival, former Sen. David Farnsworth, for backing the lie that the 2020 election was marred by fraud.

“Bowers must be defeated, and the highly respected David Farnsworth is the man to do it,” Trump said in his endorsement. “He will fix things and secure your border.”

In his testimony last week, Bowers explained what started with a phone call from Trump on a Sunday after he returned from church. The defeated president has presented a proposal for the state to replace its voters for President Joe Biden with those in favor of Trump.

“I said, ‘Look, you’re asking me to do something that’s against my oath,'” Bowers said.

Bowers insisted on seeing evidence of Trump voter fraud, which he said Trump’s team had never produced beyond vague allegations. He recalled that Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, later told him, “We have a lot of theories, we just don’t have the evidence.”

Bowers won national acclaim with his folkloric recitation of the pressure he faced from Trump and his allies, including angry and loud protests outside his home as his adult daughter lay in the process to die within a long illness.

His performance also drew scorn from Trump allies. Arizona Republican Party Chairwoman Kelli Ward tweeted her own support for Farnsworth the following day.

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Bowers said in an Associated Press interview that day that he believed voters would support him because of his honesty.

“Frankly, we feel good that this will bring forth a great independent group that will finally see someone they feel they can trust as Republicans,” Bowers said. “I think that’s our strongest part.”

The 2022 session of the Legislative Assembly ended last week and the first ballots will be mailed out next week for the Aug. 2 primary. Bowers said he was focused on winning the seat in Phoenix’s eastern suburb of Mesa.

He said voters will decide whether he or Farnsworth they want in the state Senate.

“But it’s not David Farnsworth — it’s Donald Trump,” Bowers said. “David is just a substitute. And if they want Donald Trump in that position, they should vote for David.

Bowers made waves when he told the AP before testifying in Washington last week that he would vote for Trump again if the choice was between him and President Joe Biden.

The comment made national headlines, as it came in the same interview where he called the former president’s efforts to nullify the 2020 election unconstitutional. He said Trump’s actions had hurt the nation and created mistrust in the election, which he called fair.

He has worked to clarify this remark since its publication. He told the AP he was even more opposed to Trump after appearing before the commission investigating the Jan. 6 attack on Congress. He said he was shocked to hear firsthand what Trump had done to other officials, including pushing Georgian Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to find the 11,000 votes Trump would need to undo his loss. in the state of Peach.

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“I want a robust, open, fair and honest primary election, and I want choices other than Donald J. Trump,” Bowers said. “And there are great choices available, and hopefully we can get them across a finish line and not him.”

Jonathan J. Cooper et Bob Christie, The Associated Press

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