On Tuesday, November 8th, 2011, the architect of Arizona’s anti-immigration law (SB1070) was defeated in a historic recall election. Senator Pearce lost his seat in Arizona’s state senate to Jerry Lewis. It has been reported that this is the first time in Arizona history that a legislator has been recalled.
“As the self-proclaimed “Tea Party President,” Pearce’s national role as the figurehead for punitive immigration measures also turned the recall election into a referendum on the state’s notorious SB 1070 “papers, please” immigration law, which Pearce had made the hallmark of his legislative career.”[i] “According to the Maricopa County Recorder Elections Department, Republican moderate and SB 1070 opponent Jerry Lewis overcame the Pearce campaign’s series of dirty tricks and election war chest to win 53.4% to 45.3%. in a contest that divided the city’s influential Mormon Church.”[ii]
“This is a huge shift,” said Randy Parraz, co-founder of the Citizens for a Better Arizona, which organized the recall drive in one of the most conservative districts in the state. “Russell Pearce is not only too extreme, but had remained untouched. This election shows that such extremist behavior will not be rewarded, and will be held accountable.”[iii] As was aptly stated by President Johnson when discussing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, “The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men.”[iv]
Sources: “Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce, Architect of SB1070, Defeated in Recall Election,” Latino Rebels, Jose Marti, November 8, 2011. “Arizona Topples Senate President Russell Pearce, SB 1070 Immigration Law Architect, in Historic Recall Vote”, Huffington Post. Jeff Biggers, November 8, 2011. Wikipedia. “The disturbing copy-and-paste habits of Russell Pearce,” Salon, Jeff Biggers, August 3, 2011. Maricopa County Recorder Election Department.
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