• Rusty Bowers calls state legislatures overturning elections "fascist" and "hogwash." 
  • "That the legislature could nullify your election, that's not conservative. That's fascist," Bowers told the Guardian.
  • The outgoing Arizona House Speaker stood up to attempts to overturn the 2020 election.

Outgoing Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers says state legislatures giving themselves the power to overturn election results they don't like is "not conservative" but "fascist " and "hogwash." 

After the failed attempts to overturn President Joe Biden's election victory in Arizona, Republicans in the state Senate commissioned a partisan post-election review to discredit the 2020 race in Maricopa County.

And after lawmakers in the House proposed a bill that would give the legislature the ability to overturn a presidential election result, Bowers effectively killed the legislation by punting it to 12 different committees. 

"I was trying to send a definitive message: this is hogwash," Bowers told The Guardian in an interview published Monday. "Taking away the fundamental right to vote, the idea that the legislature could nullify your election, that's not conservative. That's fascist. And I'm not a fascist."

Bowers, a staunch conservative and longtime lawmaker, steadfastly resisted President Donald Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani's brazen but ultimately failed efforts to subvert the 2020 presidential election and testified before the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 Committee. 

After nearly two decades serving in the state House, Bowers ran in — but lost — a Republican primary for state Senate in early August to far-right opponent David Farnsworth, who was endorsed by Trump. 

Farnsworth isn't the only Trump-backed candidate running in a competitive race. Republican US Senate nominee Blake Masters, gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake, Attorney General nominee Abraham Hamadeh, and Secretary of State nominee Mark Finchem, running to be Arizona's chief election official, are all endorsed by Trump and have, to various degrees, backed his false claims that the 2020 election was tainted by mass fraud. 

And Bowers, who will be out of elected office come January, expressed concern and alarm for the future of his party in Arizona — and American democracy more broadly.

"The constitution is hanging by a thread," Bowers told The Guardian. "The funny thing is, I always thought it would be the other guys. And it's my side. That just rips at my heart: that we would be the people who would surrender the constitution in order to win an election. That just blows my mind."

In his testimony to the January 6 Committee and his interview with the Guardian, Bowers recounted the pressure campaign he faced, which escalated to protests at this home.

"I never had the thought of giving up," Bowers told the Guardian. "No way. I don't like bullies. That's one constant in my life: I. Do. Not. Like. Bullies."

Read the original article on Business Insider