State Senator Russell Pearce, the force behind Arizona’s draconian anti-immigrant law SB 1070, was defeated in a recall election by challenger Jerry Lewis, marking another big defeat for a state that led the way in immigrant-bashing legislation.
Pearce lost despite holding a 3-to-1 fundraising advantage and a media willing to believe his tales of widespread public support for SB 1070. But ultimately it was his nativist views that did him in.
This was the first election of its kind for Arizona which in some way makes sense that it would involve Pearce. He openly campaigned with neo-Nazi J.T. Ready, denied the Holocaust in an email to constituents and has a resume marked with time spent mentored by Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
But clearly Pearce was feeling the heat. Supporters nominated a straw-man candidate in Olivia Cortes to try and split opposition votes, and with good reason. By the end of Tuesday evening Pearce had lost to Lewis 45% to 53%.
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