Jerry Lewis Appears to Be Headed to a Victory in the Recall Race Against Senate President Russell Pearce. UPDATE: Jerry Lewis Wins Historic Recall Race
Republican Jerry Lewis appears headed for a victory in the recall against current Senate President Russell Pearce.
Early results quickly indicated that Lewis had taken the lead against Pearce. The Legislative District 18 battle was on the national radar and will no doubt continue to earn national discussion. Lewis claimed a victory that will likely hold as the night went on.
Russell Pearce was the author of the controversial Arizona immigration law, SB 1070. He was also one of the top Republicans in the state, holding the position of Senate President prior to his recall. When the count becomes official, Arizona law requires Senator Pearce to immediately step down. He was defeated by Jerry Lewis, a conservative ex-school administrator and accountant who held divergent views on immigration.
Lewis’ win will quickly send shockwaves through Arizona’s political environment. Senator Pearce outspent Lewis by a 3-1 ratio. Although the bulk of discussion was centered on the candidate’s differences on immigration, Lewis’ voting record will likely be similar to Pearce’s record.
The race was hard fought with passionate supporters on both sides. Arizona also experienced record turnout in Phoenix and likely experienced record turnout in Mesa’s Legislative District 18. Approximately half of the 28,000 early ballots sent to voters in LD 18 already had been returned as of Monday.
Phoenix experienced the most ballots cast in a citywide election since October of 1989.
Former Mesa Vice Mayor John Giles and co-chair of Lewis’ campaign said, ”[t]his is the definition of a grass-roots campaign.”
There will be plenty of analysis to come but tonight is certainly a big night in Arizona politics.