Arizona Primary: Rusty Bowers, who defied Trump, loses re-election bid

By Matt Murphy

BBC News

Rusty BowersImage source, Getty Images

Image caption,

Mr Bowers told the 6 January committee last month that Donald Trump pushed him to overturn Arizona’s election results

A Republican who testified against Donald Trump at the 6 January committee has lost an election to a candidate endorsed by the former president.

Rusty Bowers aimed to be a Republican candidate in the Arizona state senate election, but lost the party’s primary vote to David Farnsworth.

Initial tallies showed Mr Farnsworth taking 64% of the vote.

Mr Bowers, a staunch conservative, recently said it would take “a miracle” for him to win after opposing Mr Trump.

He told how Mr Trump and his adviser Rudy Giuliani tried to push him to help overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Afterwards, the Arizona Republican party – which has shifted steadily rightwards and is reliably pro-Trump – formally censured Mr Bowers, saying that he was “unfit to serve” the party and no longer a Republican “in good standing”.

Mr Trump endorsed his challenger, and dismissed Mr Bowers as a “Rino – “Republican in name only” – a favoured term of Mr Trump’s for members of his party who refuse to back his false claims of election fraud.

Mr Farnsworth, a 71-year-old former state senator, received the backing of a number of Mr Trump’s top allies.

During a debate on 7 July, Mr Farnsworth claimed the 2020 election had been influenced by “a real conspiracy headed up by the devil himself”.

Several other allies of Mr Trump also secured victories over the former president’s opponents on Tuesday night.

Mark Finchem, an election result denier who protested outside the Capitol on 6 January 2021, won the Republican nomination for Arizona secretary of state.

And Blake Masters, a venture capitalist backed by Mr Trump and the technology entrepreneur Peter Thiel, captured the party’s nomination to run for Arizona’s US Senate seat against Democrat Mark Kelly in November.

In Michigan, Peter Meijer, one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Mr Trump last year, conceded defeat to John Gibbs, who served as Mr Trump’s Assistant Housing Secretary.

Mr Gibbs has repeated the former president’s false claims of election fraud and has claimed that the the 2020 election results were “mathematically impossible”.

Elsewhere, Reps Dan Newhouse and Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington, Republicans who also voted to impeach Mr Trump, were fighting for their political lives.

But in Kansas, Secretary of State Scott Schwab, a Republican who has opposed Mr Trump, beat back a primary challenge from Mike Brown, a former county commissioner, who has prompted the claims.

Media caption,

Election workers describe threats after Trump targeting

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