Arizona’s Anti-Immigration Champion Is Bounced from Office


Russell Pearce, a powerful Arizona legislator who was the architect of its tough immigration law, was sent packing on Tuesday after disgruntled voters in his west Mesa district banded together to recall him from the State Senate and replace him with a more moderate Republican. “If being recalled is the price for keeping one's promises, then so be it,” Pearce said.

The Arizona Republic said political experts will spend years analyzing how a political novice, Jerry Lewis, emerged from obscurity in west Mesa to knock off Arizona’s most powerful lawmaker in Tuesday’s unprecedented recall election. But analysts and people involved in the fierce campaign pointed Wednesday to an array of factors in Lewis’ improbable upset victory over Senate President Pearce, including the nature of the recall itself, which allowed Democrats and independents to vote in what amounted to an “open primary” election pitting two Republicans against each other.

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