- Rusty Bowers compared the transformation of the Arizona GOP to "being the first colonizer on Jupiter.
- "I think it's a shame," the outgoing Arizona House Speaker told The Guardian.
- "It's a party that doesn't have any thought," he said. "It's all emotional, it's all revenge."
Outgoing Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers likened the transformation of the state's Republican Party since President Donald Trump's election to "being the first colonizer on Jupiter."
"I think it's a shame," Bowers told The Guardian in an interview published Monday. "The suite of candidates that we now have representing what used to be a principled party is just like, wow…It's like being the first colonizer on Jupiter."
In Arizona's August 2 primaries, a slate of Trump-endorsed candidates won the Republican nominations for a number of key statewide offices up for election in the 2022 midterms.
Bowers, who ran in an open primary for a state Senate seat, lost his own election to a far-right challenger, David Farnsworth. Bowers, who has served in the Arizona legislature for nearly two decades, will be out of elected office come January.
Blake Masters, also heavily linked to venture capitalist and GOP donor Peter Thiel, won the GOP primary for US Senate to challenge Sen. Mark Kelly.
And gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake and Secretary of State nominee Mark Finchem have heavily centered their campaigns on Trump's false claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him via massive fraud, and have sought more broadly to discredit the integrity of Arizona's elections.
Bowers said he's "not alone in the wilderness" and has people frequently coming up to thank him for his service. But he still fears the Arizona Republican Party is too far gone.
"They've invented a new way," Bowers said. "It's a party that doesn't have any thought. It's all emotional, it's all revenge. It's all anger. That's all it is."
Beyond the Arizona GOP, Bowers fears for America, democracy, and civilization more broadly.
"The veneer of civilization is this thin," he told The Guardian. "It still exists – I haven't been hanged yet. But holy moly, this is just crazy. The place has lost its mind."