State Capitol News
Fri July 8, 2011
Maricopa County Election Officials Say More than Enough Signatures to Force a Recall of Russell Pearce
By Howard Fischer
Phoenix, AZ – The final count showed 10,365 valid signatures, far more than the approximately 77-hundred needed to force a recall of Russell Pearce. Attorney Lisa Hauser who represents the Senate president said she is examining the petitions to see if there is a way to challenge the count. But Pearce told Arizona Public Radio he's ready for a Nov. 8 election and is convinced that, despite the number of people who signed the petitions, he will be returned to office.
(I'm being recalled, virtually, for doing what I promised to do. That's what people will understand. These are outsiders that have organized it, you know, Democrats, open-border folks. I mean, I know they induced some good people. I know there's probably good people that just disagree with what I'm doing. And I understand that. But I've never had 100 percent. I don't know anybody who does.)
Pearce said most voters in his Mesa legislative district share his views on things like easing gun laws and making it harder for women to get an abortion. But what has made Pearce a political lightning rod has been the immigration measures. In the last few years alone he has pushed through laws to punish firms that knowingly hire undocumented workers, and give police more power to detain and arrest suspected illegal immigrants. But Randy Parraz, one of the recall organizers, said it's more about the policies that Pearce, as Senate president, has pushed.
(We've had so many volunteers come in, people, retired teachers, people who want to say, you know I can't believe this is what happened in education under his leadership. So immigration, to be truthful, has not been the driving force in this effort. I mean, most of our volunteers are white folks over 50.)
Parraz acknowledged that he and Chad Snow, the other recall organizer, do not live in Mesa. But he said it took the signatures of people actually living in the district to force the election. For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.