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By: Paul Atkinson on 11/09/2011
For the first time in Arizona history, a state legislator is recalled. State Senate President Russell Pearce—who many consider the most powerful politician in the state—lost to charter school administrator Jerry Lewis.
Surrounded by family and supporters in his hometown of Mesa, Senator Pearce acknowledged his apparent defeat in the recall election.
“If being recalled is the price for keeping one’s promises, then so be it," Pearce said. "I’ve always kept my promises. I’ve always put my loyalty to this Republic, the rule of law, and the moral principals that people have died for in this great republic ahead of any personal interests.”
Pearce was the driving force behind many immigration related laws, including SB 1070, which some voters think went too far. His opponent, Jerry Lewis, had the advantage of serving in local leadership in the Mormon church, which many say played a role In a heavily Mormon district. Lewis ran on a pledge of civility in politics.
“We needed to have a more representative form of legislators, people that listened to the issues that were important to them and would do it in a civil tone and work toward their best interests,” Lewis said.
Pearce will remain in office until election results are official, which should be next week.