[guest post by Dana]
The Arizona Republican Party has censured state House Speaker Rusty Bowers after his gripping public testimony to the Jan. 6 panel about Donald Trump’s relentless pressure to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
The censure Tuesday night by the state GOP’s executive committee came hours after Trump reiterated his support for Bowers’ opponent in his upcoming Republican primary for state Senate. The former president is scheduled to campaign with his favored candidates on Friday in northern Arizona.
While these censures typically don’t have teeth to them, the censure of Bowers evidences that the litmus test for Republicans continues to be a demonstrated loyalty to Trump.
“(Bowers) is no longer a Republican in good standing & we call on Republicans to replace him at the ballot box in the August primary,” Arizona Republican Party chair Kelli Ward tweeted Tuesday.
But take note:
The censure does not specifically mention Bowers’ testimony to the House Jan. 6 committee but characterizes him as hostile to the GOP platform and activists. It cites his efforts to block election bills advanced by Trump allies and his support for a bill banning most employers from discriminating against LGBTQ people, among other measures.
If you recall, after Bowers testified before the Jan. 6 Committee, he said that if Trump was up against Biden in 2024, he would vote for him. However, he later walked that back:
“I don’t want the choice of having to look at (Trump) again. And if it comes, I’ll be hard pressed,” he told the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints-owned news outlet. “I don’t know what I’ll do. But I’m not inclined to support him.”
“He doesn’t represent the morals and the platform of my party. And I just see it more and more all the time. That guy is just — he’s his own party,” he said. “It’s a party of intimidation and I don’t like it.”
He took heat for telling The Associated Press before his testimony that he would support Trump if he won the GOP nomination. He has since walked that back, saying he’s even more opposed to Trump after testifying publicly before the Jan. 6 committee…
I will be supporting somebody in the primary other than Mr. Trump. But it will be a Republican.”
For his part, Trump went after Bowers, calling him “a weak and pathetic RINO who has blocked Election Integrity”. Bower’s opponent for the Arizona Senate is David Farnsworth, a former senator. That Farnsworth has been endorsed by Trump is all the assurance you need to know that he has passed the GOP litmus test by parroting Trump’s 2020 election lies.