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By: Paul Atkinson on 10/07/2011
Senator Russell Pearce and challenger Jerry Lewis displayed contrasting styles in a Mesa Chamber of Commerce Debate. The two are on the ballot in next month's recall election of Pearce. The senator showcased his knowledge and tough nosed approach to policies while Lewis came across as a polite newcomer who vows to work with others. KJZZ’s Paul Atkinson reports.
The debate gave voters in legislative district 18 a chance to see the two candidates side by side.
RUSSELL PEARCE “We lead the nation in school choice…”
Pearce’s answers reflect his decade of experience in the legislature and his grasp of the issues. Lewis, was less specific in some of his answers and many included a reference to listening to those involved in a particular issue.
JERRY LEWIS “We need to bring everybody together, again, and listen to what everybody is saying.” (04)
One of the hundreds watching the debate at the East Valley Institute of Technology was Mesa city councilman Dave Richins, who represents parts of legislative district 18. Richins, who is still undecided, says the debate provided voters a stark contrast in style.
DAVE RICHINS “If you want somebody that’s going to tell you what policies should apply in Mesa and the state of Arizona. Vote for Russell Pearce. He’s got the experience, he thinks he knows—he feels best in a lot of instances. IF you want somebody that’s going to be collaborative and work with everyone around the table, then work with Jerry Lewis.”
For those who might think he’s not tough enough, Lewis had this warning.
JERRY LEWIS “Please don’t mistake my kindness and civil tone with weakness. I know when and how to be bold and stand up for conservative principles.”
Pearce says he’s proud of what he’s accomplished in office.
RUSSELL PEARCE “I’ve kept every promise I made to LD 18…promises made, promises kept.”
Early voting in the recall election begins Thursday. For KJZZ, I’m Paul Atkinson