State Capitol News
10:07 am
Wed September 14, 2011

Foes of Pearce clear last hurdle in bid for special election

Phoenix, AZ – Without comment the state Supreme Court rejected the legal arguments of Pearce's supporters that all the proper procedures were not followed in everything from the wording of the recall petitions to the sworn oath by circulators that they had personally witnessed people signing their names. Pearce told Arizona Public Radio that he's disappointed and still believes that the high court got it wrong.

(But you know what? We're a nation of laws. Our constitution also says the Supreme Court is the final arbiter. I have always followed the law. I'll follow this one. We may disagree. But I will honor their decision and respect that. We'll move forward.)

Pearce said he is ready to make his case to the voters of his west Mesa legislative district that they should keep him in office.

(I'm 16 and 0 in my elections in LD 18 counting primaries. And I'll go forward and run on the merits and the accomplishments and the promises that I've made and kept.)

Two challengers have submitted sufficient signatures to run against Pearce in the Nov. 8 special election: Jerry Lewis and Olivia Cortes. Randy Parraz, one of the recall organizers, said he believes Cortes is really in the race to help Pearce, figuring that a Hispanic woman might draw off votes that would otherwise go to Lewis in a two-way race. Parraz said his job now is to educate voters.

(What we're going to focus on are the people that signed the petition, inform them what's going on, it's a sham candidacy. We're going to show them the evidence we have. They can make the connection. We'll go from there.)

Parraz said those working for Cortes are active in the East Valley Tea Party, people who have supported Pearce in the past. Cortes has so far rejected all requests for interviews. For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.