Committee’s star witness Rusty Bowers loses Arizona Republican primary on Jan. 6

Arizona House Republican Speaker Rusty Powers, who earlier this summer gave gripping testimony to a House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, lost his bid for the state Senate to NBC on Tuesday. (NBC) A candidate backed by former President Donald Trump. Expect news.

As of 1:15 a.m. ET, former state Sen. David Farnsworth had a more than 20-point lead over Powers in the bid for Arizona’s 10th District, backed by Trump.

Powers, who told NBC News last month that he would struggle to win his state Senate race, testified to the committee that Trump and his allies have worked hard to get him to overturn the 2020 election.

“It’s so hostile,” Powers said in a phone interview of the political environment, noting that his state Senate district (Arizona’s 10th district) overwhelmingly supports Trump. “It would be a miracle if I made it.”

Weeks after Bowers testified, Arizona GOP condemned him, saying he “has proven unfit to serve the Arizona GOP platform” and the will of voters Arizona Republican,” and called on voters to “fire him permanently.”

It is highly unusual for a State party to make such a statement ahead of a contested primary.

On Monday, Trump attacked Powers on his Truth social platform, writing: “Remember Arizona, your so-called ‘speaker’, Rusty (a fitting name because he’s Rusty, like steel is rusty and fragile) Bowers, absolutely horrible.”

He called on Arizonans to “vote him out!”

Bowles, who served 17 years between the Arizona House and Senate, received the John F. Kennedy Award for Courage this year for his handling of the post-election period. His campaign is the first, and possibly only, cycle to test whether the GOP can publicly bypass Trump and still win the GOP primary ahead of the Jan. It happened when the memory is still fresh in my mind.

A few weeks ago, the conservative lawmaker told the committee he knew Trump and his allies were trying to invalidate his 2020 election in his state, which President Joe Biden narrowly won. state elections.

“My creed of faith is that the Constitution is divine inspiration and that’s my most fundamental fundamental belief,” Bowers, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, told the committee. “So I’m doing this because I’ve been asked to do it, which It’s foreign to me; I wouldn’t do it.”

In an interview with NBC News, Powers said the reaction to his testimony in his area was mixed.

“Among my friends and people I know in the area, it’s going well,” he said. “But in general, it’s not considered good. It’s always been: ‘You’re gone. Traitor.'”

He also said he disagreed with those who told him that his decision to testify required courage.

“I don’t think I have some brave Don Quixote [moment]. Maybe that’s it, but certainly not Joan of Arc,” Powers said. “But I did what I had to do. I know this can have consequences, and in some cases, I know it will end the relationship. But I have to tell the truth. That’s it. Other than that, nothing else. “

Shortly after Bowers testified publicly, Trump went all out for Farnsworth.

Bowers described Farnsworth as a backbencher after eight years in the state Senate with “completely zero grades.”

The Speaker of the House pushed for legislative victories in his most recent term, including overseeing the passage of a bipartisan budget package and legislation aimed at bringing new sources of water to the state — where conservation concerns loom.

farnsworth prominently touted his support for Trumpwhile also claiming to be the best candidate for tackling inflation, border immigration and overhauling elections.

Asked how a Farnsworth victory would affect the state of the party, Bowles said at the time: “It shows that Mr. Trump has a very, I would almost call it a cult appeal.”

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