Less than three months after he lost his seat in a recall election, Arizona state Sen. Russell Pearce won election Saturday to be vice chairman of the Arizona Republican Party.
The self-proclaimed “tea party president” of the state Senate had proven a controversial figure in Arizona politics. Pearce was the chief architect of Senate Bill 1070, Arizona’s controversial immigration law.
“Arizona has moved past the divisive and corrosive politics of Russell Pearce — but the Republican Party hasn’t,” Arizona Democratic Party Chairman Andrei Cherny said in a statement. “The Republican Party’s choice to make Pearce their shadow chairman couldn’t be a clearer signal of where the leaders of the Arizona GOP want to steer their party.”
“Pearce has consistently shown since November that he has not learned anything from the decisive recall that removed him from office,” Cherny continued.
“He will bring the same repulsive politics to his new job as shadow chairman of the Republican Party that we saw with his attempt to put a sham candidate on the ballot in hopes that he could avoid the voters who rejected him in his own conservative district.”
Republican candidate Jerry Lewis defeated Pearce in an unprecedented recall election in November 2011. The group Citizens for a Better Arizona forced the election in July after collecting 10,365 signatures.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore