State Capitol News
3:33 pm
Tue July 26, 2011

Mesa Republic Jerry Lewis Poised to Enter Race to Oust Russell Pearce

Phoenix, AZ – Lewis said he has been approached by district residents who say they want their senator to focus on something more than immigration. At this point the main focus of what Lewis is pitching is that he is what Pearce is not.

(We need new leadership to focus on all of the issues. We need to have the type of experience that brings all parties to the table in a collaborative environment that respect all views and looks for solutions that attacks issues and not opponents, that brings about ideas that will work, and works with all people, all stakeholders involved.)

But Lewis was less clear when pushed for his position on several key issues, like whether he would support more restrictions on abortion.

(I believe we have to, have to protect life. OK? I believe that we have to respect people who may be raped, who may be victims of incest.)

Lewis said only that he would be open to looking at legislation to outlaw abortion in cases of rape and incest. He was no more specific on whether the state should give tax dollars to parents to send their children to private or parochial schools.

(I would like to hear all side of the issue and, using the leadership abilities that I have, formulate an opinion that I believe that we can all live with and that can be sustained.)

Then there's the question of whether people should be allowed to carry guns onto college and university campuses.

(I believe that we need to look at all the issues involved and make sure that we bring a solution that promotes the welfare of all the stakeholders involved in such a weighty decision.)

Pearce acknowledged his high profile on the issue of illegal immigration.

(Do I believe in securing the border? Yes. Do I believe in enforcing the laws? Yes. Just like Abraham Lincoln said. We owe it, based on the blood of the revolution to never support those who break our laws.)

But Pearce said efforts to paint him as a one-issue candidate will fail. He cited his role in enacting an extensive package of business tax cuts, his support of private and parochial school vouchers, his A-plus rating from the National Rifle Association and his position of being, in his words, 100 percent pro life. For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.