A charter school executive challenging state Senate President Russell Pearce in a Nov. 8 recall election said Thursday the Pearce-sponsored, 2010 Arizona law on illegal immigration was a good start toward reform and border security.
However, Jerry Lewis also said broader action is needed, though he declined to say whether he would have voted for the law known as SB1070 if he had been a member of the Legislature.
Lewis spoke with reporters at the secretary of state’s office before he filed petitions seeking to qualify for the ballot in Legislative District 18 in Mesa. He says the petitions had 1,187 voter signatures — nearly twice the 621 required to make the ballot.
Two other people have made initial filings to run but haven’t yet turned in signatures.
Pearce will be on the ballot after his sponsorship of SB1070, a law on state and local enforcement of illegal immigration laws.
Acting on a challenge filled by the U.S. Justice Department, a federal judge has put key provisions of the law on hold. A federal appeals court upheld the judge’s order, but Gov. Jan Brewer is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the law and allow it to take effect.
“It’s a good start,” Lewis said when asked about the law. “There’s a lot of other issues beyond those which are mentioned in SB1070 that must be addressed. It’s a good start.”
Lewis said he entered the race at the urging of Mesa residents who wanted more emphasis on the economy and education in the Legislature.
In another development, the Court of Appeals on Thursday released an expedited schedule for consideration of a legal challenge to holding the recall election.
The schedule calls for the lawyer for a Pearce supporter to file the appeal Friday and for subsequent filings by all sides to be completed Aug. 29. All the parties have agreed to ask that the case be transferred to the Arizona Supreme Court.