Posted on November 17, 2011

It Took a Recall to Defeat Me

Russell Pearce, Politico, November 15, 2011

I’d be lying if I said I was not extremely disappointed by being voted out in a recall election. I’m sad to go under these circumstances.

The establishment is attempting to frame my defeat as proof that voters oppose immigration control. Many are insinuating my defeat as a blow SB1070.

But the truth is–as some political observers acknowledge–I probably wouldn’t have lost the race in a normal election. In my previous race, I won with two-thirds of the vote. But given that this was a recall election, various other factors came into play.

First, there was no primary–so my political enemies saw an excellent opportunity to pose a challenge. My Republican opponent was Jerry Lewis, who stated he was opposed to SB1070, supports the DREAM Act and believes illegal aliens do the jobs that Americans won’t.

In a normal election, Lewis would have had no chance in the primary. And with a large GOP registration edge in my district, I would likely have won easily against the Democrat.

The Democrats, however, did not put up a candidate. Instead, the Democratic Party, and left-wing groups like the Service Employees International Union and, all supported Lewis.


The main point, however, is that this had nothing to do with my positions on illegal immigration. In fact my opponent barely discussed the issue.

Combine all these factors with the low turnout in a special election, and it is hard to see my defeat as a referendum on SB 1070.


Back in 2004 I wrote Prop 200, The Protect Arizona Now Act on the ballot, which restricted public benefits to illegal immigrants and protected against voting fraud. Despite being outspent 3-1, and with virtually every politician in the state opposing the measure, it passed overwhelmingly.

In 2006, I placed on the ballot Proposition 100, a constitutional amendment denying bail to any illegal immigrant charged with a serious felony. It passed by 78 percent. I also pressed for Proposition 103, which made English the Official Language of Arizona. It passed by 73 percent.

In 2007, I introduced the Legal Arizona Workers Act, requiring all state employers to use E-Verify, to ensure they don’t hire illegal immigrants. If any “knowingly” hire illegal immigrants, they are to lose their license to do business in Arizona. After building enormous grass-roots support, the bill passed and then-Gov. Janet Napolitano signed it.


Since SB1070 passed, according to the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association, they have experienced a 30-year low in crime–without one civil rights, racial profiling or biased policing complaint. More important, polls still show that Arizona voters support the law by a 2-1 margin.

This issue has now become bigger than me–and bigger than Arizona.

We have inspired other states to take action. More than 34 states are now proposing legislation modeled on SB1070. Alabama, South Carolina, Utah and Georgia have already passed bills.

Before I introduced SB 1070, Arizona political luminaries like Sen. John McCain and Rep. Jeff Flake were leading sponsors of amnesty for illegal immigrants. But since we passed it, most of our GOP congressman and senators at least give lip service to supporting patriotic immigration enforcement.

I have not decided whether or not I will run again for the State Senate–or another office. I promise you though, that I will not retreat from this fight.

8 responses to “It Took a Recall to Defeat Me”

  1. Eva says:

    Mr. Pearce, you are the kind of American statesman we need to bring the present Amerika back to being America!!! I believe you certainly have a chance to gain national prestige and be elected to higher office. I think the Senate, replacing Kyl or McCain would be a good start!! We need a more conservative American senator to represent the great state of Arizona! There are many things to be done in America so waste no time in regrouping and help get America back on track before it’s too late!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I for one, am glad to hear Mr. Pearce will not retreat. Yes, I live in Az. and we certainly have a problem here and it seems to fester into other states. He will be back or move to a higher position where he can do more about illegals.”A quiter never wins,a winner never quits.”

  3. Sincerely Concerned says:

    Not only do I support Pearce’s stance and all that he as done for his state but I am impressed by his lack of typical politispeak. He writes in plain English for everyday people and is unafraid to point out the facts. We need many, many, more politicians like him. I think they’re out there but they must be supported and that means elected and allowed to remain in office instead of thrown out. Because what he did was so right in a country that is headed in the wrong direction, he became a scapegoat. The fact that he was willing to take that chance speaks volumes about this patriot.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Instead of being “disappointed” he should be aggressively investigating a rigged vote.

    This is one of those mysterious things like McCain getting re-elected. Who in this country is pro-immigrant? Even among the ultra-left? Nobody. These people don’t exist in real life. You don’t meet them at work, you won’t even know anyone who knows anyone. Yet, these non-people are supposedly a majority who can recall vote elected officials on this issue.

    These are obvious LIES. And it is obvious that our election system is rigged. They aren’t even pretending anymore.

    You are starting to see ridiculous news headlines like millionaires demand they pay higher taxes. Or, thousands rally in support of pedophile coach.

    Think about this for a second. Do you know ANYONE who thinks that way. Know anyone who has ever met anyone like this?

    No? Why is that if people who think this way are so numerous.

  5. Stick says:

    ‘…Jerry Lewis …believes illegal aliens do the jobs that Americans won’t.’ – I thought it was the Chinese doing those jobs. Most goods are manufactured in China now, aren’t they?

  6. crazyhorse says:

    I am all in favor of recall voting, but only those who voted in the general election should be allowed to vote in the recall election. These voters are the only ones who have the right to vote,as far as I can see…These voters are the ones the candidate has to answer too….

  7. Anonymous says:

    Why doesn’t Pearce run for the GOP nomination for President?

    I know damned right well that he will never be nominated by the sell-outs that run that Party, but it would be fun to have such a lightening rod run for President.

    Pearce, who would have no delusions about winning the nomination, could say it all, and then some, as it really is. No holding back, Mr. Pearce. Let them have it.

    Wouldn’t that be refreshing to hear, instead of all the “Rich Cultural Diversity and Values” these brown freeloaders burden us with?

    In the interim, maybe we wake up a few Whites in the process.

  8. Joey says:

    Let this be a lesson that the neocons will sell their souls to the Marxist left at any chance they get. They are worse than the left in my opinion because they pretend to be conservatives when they are simply opportunists with no actual values of their own. The fact that Newt Gingrich is now the supposed front runner is sickening beyond belief. Who are these moron Republicans that buy into this guy’s supposed ‘conservatism’? Gingrich knows how to throw red meat at conservatives and people are falling for it hook, line, and sinker. He is a progressive globalist. Apparently, we have learned nothing from the travesty that was the Bush administration.

    I salute you Mr Pearce. Keep on fighting the good fight.