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Pro-recall leader threatens legal action against Pearce

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Randy Parraz, one of the organizers of the recall drive targeting Senate President Russell Pearce, is threatening a lawsuit after signs popped up in the East Valley claiming he supported the boycott against Arizona and promotes open borders.

In a letter to Pearce and Matt Tolman, chairman of Citizens Opposing the Pearce Recall, Parraz’s lawyer said the signs defamed his client and he demanded that they be taken down.

Attorney Chad Snow, who is also co-chairman of the pro-recall group, Citizens for a Better Arizona, said Pearce and Tolman should stop “making false and scurrilous statements” about Parraz.

“My client, Randy Parraz, has never supported open borders, opposed the rule of law, or supported a boycott of Arizona,” Snow said Aug. 18.

But Tolman said his group won’t take the signs down.

Ed Phillips, the spokesman for Citizens Opposing the Pearce Recall, said, “It’s, of course, a spurious request and our attorneys are working on a response.”

The verbal tussle between the two groups is another sign that the election is heating up.

It could be just be a sampling of what to expect in this historic special election, which many say could become one of the most expensive legislative races in Arizona’s history.

Citizens for a Better Arizona had submitted more than enough signatures to make Pearce become the first sitting legislator to face a recall election. Supporters of the recall say Pearce may appeal to the state’s right-wing, but he’s espousing values that are too extreme for the state and his west Mesa district – and his reign as Senate President exposed his limited agenda.

Pearce’s allies, in turn, challenged the recall petition in court. They said the recall drive subverted the electoral process because Pearce hasn’t done anything illegal or unethical to justify his removal from office.

Pearce will face fellow Mesa Republican Jerry Lewis in the special election that is set for Nov. 8.

The two other challengers in the race are Republican Olivia Cortes and Libertarian Michael Kielsky.

Only Lewis, who is considered to be the frontrunner among the challengers, has so far submitted signatures to qualify for the ballot.

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