Pearce announces run for state Senate seat
MESA - Four months after he lost his seat in a recall election, Russell Pearce is running for the state Senate again.
Pearce, a former state Senate President and the architect of Arizona's tough immigration laws, announced Monday night that he will seek the Senate seat in the new legislative District 25.
Pearce appeared before the Red Mountain Tea Party with other political candidates including his close political ally, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Pearce lost a November recall to Republican Jerry Lewis, a charter school executive who was well known in the conservative Mesa district but had no political experience.
Pearce was the first Arizona legislator to ever be recalled.
The Mesa Republican was the sponsor of major Arizona legislation targeting illegal immigration, including the 2010 enforcement law known as SB 1070 and the employer sanctions law enacted in 2007.
Pearce currently is president of Ban Amnesty Now, which promotes tougher policies regarding illegal immigrants.
He would not face Lewis in this election because legislative district boundaries changed through redistricting. Pearce seeks to represent the Republican-dominated District 25, where incumbent GOP Sen. Rich Crandall lives.
District 25 is further to the east than District 18 but has the same conservative tilt, according to the East Valley Tribune. The old District 18 boundaries changed since the recall as part of redistricting that takes place every decade.
Recall organizer Randy Parraz of Citizens for a Better Arizona has been talking with District 25 voters and said he'll consider campaigning against Pearce if Mesa residents ask for assistance, the Tribune reported.
Earlier Monday, Mesa resident and SkyMall founder Bob Worsley announced his candidacy for the district. Like Pearce, Worsley is Republican and a Mormon.
The differences in their political views could make the Aug. 28 primary the kind of contentious battle that characterized last November's recall.
In that race, Lewis waged a campaign that Pearce had gone too far to the right on immigration and other issues.
Pearce was elected to the House of Representatives in 2000 and to the Senate in 2008. He previously was a deputy with the county sheriff's office, where he worked closely with Arpaio.