Wednesday, November 9, 2011

State Senator Pearce Ousted By Arizona Voters On Recall Election

State Senator Russell Pearce defeated by 53 percent on Tuesday.

By H. Nelson Goodson
November 9, 2011

Phoenix, Arizona - On Tuesday, State Senator Russell Pearce (R), 64, conceded after late polls indicated he had lost the recall election with 45 percent of the vote compared to newcomer Jerry Lewis (R) who received more than 53 percent of the vote. Lewis ran on a commitment of not taking gifts from special interest groups, banning gifts for legislators and had opposed strict enforcement provisions of SB 1070, which Senator Russell authored.
Pearce's SB 1070 had been considered the harshest state immigration bill in the U.S., which allowed police to question the legal status of people they encountered during investigations and violations of municipal ordinances and state laws. Key provisions of the SB 1070 law were blocked by a federal judge and an appeal by Gocernor Jan Brewer to unblock enforcement recently failed. Governor Brewer has not comment on Russell's defeat.
Other states had copycat SB 1070 and most have been challenged in federal court by the U.S. Department of Justice claiming key provisions were unconstitutional. In most cases, federal judges have blocked the copycat bills from taking effect until the cases are resolved.
Latinos in Arizona went to the polls on Tuesday and were instrumental in defeating Russell. A nationwide boycott against Arizona for passing SB 1070 and attempting to pass other anti-immigration bills has kept millions of dollars from the state causing an economic disaster throughout the state.
Arizona is facing more than $37 billion in deficit.
Recall organizers turned in more than 10,000 valid signatures to recall Russell.

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