Arizona House Speaker awarded JFK Profile in Courage for 2020 election stance

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library Foundation announced award for Rusty Bowers.

Updated: April 24, 2022 - 10:54pm

Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R-Mesa) will soon receive a prestigious award for pushing back against calls to suspend the state's 2020 general election results.

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library Foundation announced on Thursday that Bowers is among the five people it will honor with the 2022 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award.

The award is given to public servants who have made "courageous decisions of conscience without regard for the personal or professional consequences," according to a press release from Bowers' office.

The award gets its name from former President Kennedy's 1957 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, "Profiles in Courage." It tells the stories of eight U.S. Senators who risked their political careers for taking unpopular, yet principled, positions.

On multiple occasions, Bowers has refused inquiries or stopped legislation that would have cast doubt on the results of Maricopa County's 2020 general election, which saw President Joe Biden besting President Donald Trump in his quest for reelection. Bowers said he received multiple calls from Trump and the former president's lawyers. He's seen protests outside of his home and an unsuccessful recall effort. Bowers is running as a Republican for state Senate this November.

Bowers is receiving an award for "his actions to protect the integrity of Arizona elections," according to the press release.

"I am very grateful for this honor yet cannot help but feel undeserving of it," Speaker Bowers said. "Honoring my oath and the people's choices at the ballot box are not heroic acts — they are the least that Arizonans should expect from the people elected to serve them."

The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation created the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in 1989. It did so to honor President Kennedy's public service and celebrate his May 29 birthday.

Other past recipients of the award include former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Gerald Ford, and Arizona's U.S. Senator John McCain and U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Bowers will receive the award during a ceremony on May 22, 2022, at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, Mass.

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