Worsley gearing up for primary election against Pearce

March 26, 2012

The Mesa businessman running for Arizona Senate in the new Legislative District 25 against former Senate President Russell Pearce said there are some similarities between himself and the man who beat Pearce in last year’s recall election. But Bob Worsley also sees there are some differences.

Bob Worsley Bob Worsley (Photo Courtesy of Bob Worsley for State Senate.)

Worsley said he didn’t really know Jerry Lewis personally until recently. He said he learned from the now-senator that turnout will be critical in the August primary, and he believes that comparisons between the two candidates are generally fair.

“To the extent that you had David and Goliath, yes, I think that there is some of that,” Worsley said. “Mr. Pearce has won most of his elections in his life. The recall was a huge victory for removing him from office and making sure the dialogue could move past immigration. But this is a new district. He’s not the incumbent, I’m not the incumbent, and I believe in that respect, it’ll be different.”

The August primary will also be different from last November’s recall election, since only Republicans and Independents will be able to vote. Worsley said he’s confident he can win the independent vote, but also believes he can win among Republicans if voter turnout is high enough.

Worsley said he wants to focus on the economy in his campaign, and move the discussion away from illegal immigration. But it was immigration that brought attention to his campaign shortly after he announced he was running for state senate.

An online profile of Worsley at mormon.org, the official website of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, had referenced Arizona’s immigration enforcement law, SB 1070. But those sentences were removed from the profile, and Worsley said he’s the one who changed it.

The profile referenced his presidency of a 150-member Hispanic branch of the church. It had read, “We have suffered with the Arizona law that encouraged those immigrants without proper documents to leave the state. I have fought for the rights of Latinos and to replace those lawmakers who were most extreme in their views.”

In explaining the change, Worsley said, “I felt that my Mormon.org profile, which explains kind of my belief system, was appropriate as a pastor of a 150-person Hispanic congregation. But, it was inappropriate as a candidate for Legislative District 25, especially against someone who would make immigration the only thing we would discuss during the campaign.

Worsley said he stands by his beliefs, and acknowledges the timing of the editing was not good.

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