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Pro-recall group makes last-minute push to oust Pearce

Randy Parraz, co-chair of pro-recall group Citizens for a Better Arizona (Ryan Cook, RJCook Photography)

The group that spearheaded the recall drive against Senate President Russell Pearce is making last-minute efforts to chase ballots and persuade Mesa residents to show up at polling precincts.

Randy Parraz, one of the group’s leaders, said about 40 volunteers knocked on doors this afternoon to persuade residents to drop off their ballots at precincts or collected the ballots and submitted them on the voters’ behalf.

Parraz said his group hopes to round up about 250 ballots, which will be either dropped at polling precincts or turned over to the county elections office in Mesa.

Parraz said they’re only collecting ballots from voters they have identified to be supporters of Jerry Lewis, Pearce’s challenger.

The group will gather at the Wright House in Mesa to watch the election results tonight.

Early this year, the drive to recall Pearce seemed like a pipe dream.

Pearce was just elected as Senate President a few months before.

Additionally, the Mesa Republican, while greatly unpopular among Democrats, has never lost an election in his district.

But his critics were persistent, and in May Citizens for a Better Arizona surprisingly turned over more than 18,000 signatures to recall him.

About a month later, county and state election officials certified that the group gathered more than enough valid signatures to compel a special election against Pearce.

The group raised $141,000 in its campaign to recall Pearce.

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