Recall campaigns in Arizona
= The targeted politician resigned after a recall campaign was begun, and before the vote on the recall would have taken place.
Fountain Hills: Henry Leger
Palominas Fire District: Debbie Stoner
Douglas: Mitchell Lindemann
Quechan tribe: Keeny Escalanti
Tusayan: Greg Bryan, Cecily Maniaci, and Al Montoya
Tombstone: Jack Henderson
Sedona Fire District: David Blauert, Charles Christensen, and Phyllis Erick
Benson: David Lambert
Statewide: Jan Brewer
Yuma: Paul Johnson, Jerry Stuart, and Cody Beeson
Peoria: Ron Aames
Glendale: Yvonne Knaack
Maricopa: Alan Marchione
Apache Junction: R.E. Eck, Jr.
Salome School Board: Jesse Bryan
Superior: Michael Hing
Quartzite: Ed Foster
State Legislature: Russell Pearce
Huachuca City: Byron Robertson
Quartzsite: Cowell, Winslow, Anderson, Lukkason, Lizarrage
Douglas: Michael Gomez
Douglas: Mitchell Lindemann
Pima County: Clarence Dupnik
San Luis: Juan Carlos Escamilla
U.S. Senate: John Kyl
Peoria Unified School District: Diane Douglas
Tucson: City council
Prescott: Steve Blair
Sunnyside Unified School District: Louie Gonzales, Magdalena Barajas, and Eva Carrillo Dong
Arizona City Sanitary District: William Miller, Richard Autry, and Joanne McKenzie
Taylor: Robin Palmer
Carefree: David Schwan
Deer Valley Unified School District: Thomas Boone
|District of Columbia||3||1||0||0|
By: Greg Janetka
MESA, Arizona: According to unofficial election results, Republican Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce has become the first state legislator in Arizona history to be recalled. Challenger Jerry Lewis, who is also a Republican, took 53.2 percent of the vote to Pearce’s 45.25 percent. With Pearce conceding, he has become the third state legislator to be recalled in 2011, joining the two Republican Wisconsin state senators voters recalled last August.
In claiming victory, Lewis stated, "Our opponent was the most powerful politician in Arizona and one who had deep pocketed and powerful interests from outside our district backing him, as well as the entire muscle from our state Republican Party."
|Recall of Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce, 2011|
|Russell Pearce Incumbent||43.5%||10,121|
|Olivia Cortes (withdrawn)||1.2%||277|
While not explicitly stated in the recall petition, the campaign was seen as a vote on immigration policies. In the only debate of the campaign, Lewis and Pearce agreed on all major issues, with the exception of immigration. Pearce gained notoriety with his tough stance on illegal immigration as the architect of SB 1070, while Lewis stressed a more cohesive immigration reform plan, arguing SB 1070 has resulted in a bad state image.
From the beginning the recall election was plagued with controversy, notably the candidacy of registered independent Olivia Cortes. After much speculation, pro-Pearce factions were found to have recruited Cortes to run in an effort to split the anti-Pearce vote, but amid a court case and scandal, Cortes dropped out of the race on October 6. To this day Cortes says she has no idea who paid for her petitions and is under investigation for possible campaign finance violations.
One other recall remains pending tonight. The vote to recall Michigan state Representative Paul Scott (R) has been extremely close all night. Unlike Pearce, Scott does not face a recall election, but rather a Yes or No vote to remove him from office.
- ↑ Huffington Post, “Arizona Topple Senate President Russell Pearce, SB 1070 Immigration Law Architect, in Historic Recall Vote,” November 8, 2011
- ↑ Phoenix Business Journal, “Russell Pearce loses recall bid; Stanton elected Phoenix Mayor,” November 8, 2011
- ↑ KPHO, "Russell Pearce ousted in historic recall election," November 8, 2011
- ↑ Tucson Citizen, "Pearce, Lewis mainly split on immigration enforcement," October 7, 2011
- ↑ AZ Central, "Olivia Cortes to be investigated for campaign-finance law violations," October 29, 2011
- ↑ BusinessWeek, “Arizona Immigration Law Author Pearce Loses in Recall Election,” November 8, 2011