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Russell Pearce, Leading Anti-Immigrant Voice in Arizona, Loses Second Election in Ten Months

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Voters Once Again Rejected Pearce’s Extreme Views, Which Have Been Included in RNC Platform 

Washington, DC – Russell Pearce, former Arizona State Senate President and hard-core anti-immigrant extremist, went down to defeat yesterday in his Republican State Senate primary, losing by nearly 12 points to businessman Bob Worsley. This was Pearce’s second electoral loss this year. He also lost to Jerry Lewis in a historic recall election last February. This primary was to be Pearce’s comeback bid.

Pearce is the architect of Arizona’s notorious SB 1070, which he crafted with “legal advisor” Kris Kobach.  Most of SB 1070 has been found unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court in June and another key provision is facing a stiff judicial challenge. While Pearce has been a hero to the anti-immigrant movement, his hard-core views have turned Arizona into ground zero for the immigration debate. Pearce’s policies have damaged the state’s reputation while foisting economic hardship on a state already reeling from recession.

Today, one of the key leaders in the movement to defeat Pearce, Randy Parraz, was quoted in the Arizona Republic today as saying that Pearce had boasted he would “never lose a primary.” Parraz added,  “[Pearce] misjudged the fact that he was no longer a conservative Republican — he was an extreme Tea Party Republican. There’s no comeback for Russell Pearce — he’s done.”

Pearce is still the First Vice Chairman of the Arizona Republican Party. And, last week, a harsh anti-immigrant provision supporting self-deportation was included in the Republican National Committee platform, which the Arizona Republic’s E.J. Montini dubbed, the “Russell Pearce Plank.” Kobach pushed that provision during the adoption of the RNC platform. And, Mitt Romney has adopted the Pearce/Kobach position on self-deportation.

Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, said, “Voters in Arizona have now rejected the extremism of Russell Pearce twice in one year. His failed anti-immigrant policies have caused great damage to that state. You’d think this would be a lesson for the Republican Party. But, instead of rejecting Pearce’s anti-immigrant zealotry, like the voters did, the GOP has adopted it. Pearce can’t even win elections for himself, yet, he and Kobach are setting policy for the Republican Party that will inflict long-term damage with Latino voters.”

America’s Voice — Harnessing the power of American voices and American values to win common sense immigration reform.