David Schwartz, Yahoo! News, July 12, 2011
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer on Tuesday ordered a special election for November 8 to decide the fate of a high-profile state lawmaker behind Arizona’s controversial immigration crackdown.
Brewer ordered the vote to recall Republican Russell Pearce, the state senate’s president and chief architect of Senate Bill 1070, after a citizen’s group turned in enough valid signatures to force it.
Barring any legal challenges, voters in Pearce’s Mesa, Arizona, district will go to the polls in what is believed to be the first recall election of a state legislator in Arizona history.
Pearce said he had no plans to resign and would launch an aggressive campaign against those seeking to oust him from office. He said in a statement he plans to focus on his record on key issues including economic recovery, job creation, balanced budgets, law enforcement and border security.
“These are the issues that my constituents believe in and why they have voted 16 times to send me to the legislature,” Pearce said.
“I have never lost an election and will fight these outside forces that support lax law enforcement, amnesty and open borders.”
Last week, the state verified that Citizens for a Better Arizona had collected 10,365 signatures to force the election. The group needed 7,756 valid signatures.