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Top Arizona Republican says he will support someone other than Trump in primary

Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R), who appeared as a witness before the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack, said he plans to support a candidate other than former President Trump in the 2024 Republican presidential primary if Trump runs.

Bowers testified before the Jan. 6 select committee last month on Trump’s efforts to push state legislators to overturn the results of the 2020 election in Arizona. During his testimony, Bowers said he received calls from Trump and attorney Rudy Giuliani urging him to support efforts to overturn the results. He also denied Trump’s claim that Bowers told him he won the election in the state.

Bowers told Deseret News in an interview published on Sunday that he does not want to have to consider voting for Trump if he is the Republican nominee in 2024, saying he does not know what he will do if Trump wins the nomination.

He said he is not “inclined” to support Trump, because he does not believe Trump represents his party or its morals or platform. 

“And I just see it more and more all the time. That guy is just — he’s his own party. It’s a party of intimidation and I don’t like it,” Bowers said. 

The interview follows comments Bowers made to The Associated Press in which he said he would support Trump if he became the Republican nominee in 2024. 

Bowers confirmed to Deseret that the AP story was accurate, but he said he didn’t want to be “boxed in” on who he’d support. He said he has gotten used to saying he will support the nominee of his party instead of identifying specific candidates. 

“And so as kind of a sad evasion, I just said that,” he told Deseret. “And it gets me out of a discussion and into a hotter fire.” 

Trump has been critical of Bowers since his testimony, calling him a “RINO,” or Republican in name only, and endorsing Bowers’s opponent in a race for a state Senate seat. In his endorsement, Trump called Bowers a “puppet” of Gov. Doug Ducey (R), who also refused to support Trump’s push for state legislators to reject the Arizona’s election results.

Tags Arizona Donald Trump Election results Jan. 6 Capitol riot Rudy Giuliani Rusty Bowers

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