Is Rusty Bowers Mormon?
Rusty Bowers served as a Mormon missionary in Mexico for two years after joining The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Arizona House Speaker Bowers gave emotional testimony Tuesday about his determination to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in the face of enormous pressure.
He placed the conservative Republican into the spotlight and the center of the national reckoning over the events of January 6, 2021.
Back in Arizona, Bowers has long been seen as a renegade, unafraid to go against the more extremist sections of his own party, sometimes with sarcastic dismissals or a cunning kind of theatrics.
Earlier this year, instead of just debating a bill that would have given the state legislature the authority to overturn future election outcomes. Bowers used an arcane procedural move to kill it: he sent it to 12 committees at once.
Bowers' takedown was described at the time by Arizona writer Jeremy Duda as "killing the bill, slicing it up, lighting the pieces on fire, then digging up the ashes and hurling them into the ocean.
His testimony is believed to demonstrate his willingness to follow his own moral compass. He described resisting pressure from former President Donald Trump, Trump's then-lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and other Republicans to remove electors for Joe Biden time and again.
Bowers claimed he received a phone call from Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., on the morning of Jan. 6, 2021, asking him again if he would decertify the election, but he refused.
"He asked whether I would sign both a letter from my state and/or support a decertification of electors, and I said no," Bowers explained.
Bowers stated he has been targeted for opposing Trump's proposal, even at his house. He claims that people with loudspeakers come to his area on Saturdays to accuse him of being a pedophile and pervert and to distribute literature.
Bowers said he got more than 20,000 emails, as well as tens of thousands of voicemails and messages, at his office.
Bowers and his family have faced regular demonstrations outside his house east of Phoenix, including accusations that he was a corrupt politician and a pedophile, he said Tuesday.
He said that at one time, an armed guy approached and appeared to threaten his neighbor.
Tears welled up in his eyes Tuesday as he recalled the harassment's impact on his wife, Donetta, and their then-critically sick daughter.