PHOENIX — Former Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers reportedly will be given the nation's second-highest civilian honor during a White House ceremony Friday.
Bowers will receive the Presidential Citizens Medal from Joe Biden for his part in resisting former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election, the Deseret News reported Wednesday, citing multiple unnamed sources.
The Presidential Citizens Medal was established via executive order by Richard Nixon in 1969 to recognize Americans “who have performed exemplary deeds of service for their country or their fellow citizens.”
The president has sole discretion to bestow the honor, but it’s not regularly awarded. Barack Obama in 2012 was the last president to issue the medal.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the nation’s only higher civilian honor.
"I am not often speechless," Bowers, a Republican, told the Deseret News, a Salt Lake City-based news organization. "It's an honor, for sure."
Bowers rejected Trump's pleas to help him overturn the November 2020 election results that saw him become the first Republican to lose Arizona since 1996.
And then Bowers angered the former president and his backers even more by testifying last year before the U.S. House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on Congress.
Bowers testified on June 21 that Trump's team admitted they did not have evidence of election fraud.
"I do not want to be a winner by cheating," he said during the hearing. "I will not play with laws I swore allegiance to."
Bowers ran for a state Senate seat in 2022 but lost in the GOP primary to a Trump-endorsed candidate, David Farnsworth.
Bowers said he had no regrets over standing up to Trump.
"I would do it again in a heartbeat," he said after losing in the August primary. "I'd do it 50 times in a row."
In May, Bowers received the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was among the other recipients.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.