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Campaign manager: Lewis likely to run in 2012

Jerry Lewis. (Photo by Evan Wyloge/Arizona Capitol Times)

Republican Jerry Lewis, who defeated Senate President Russell Pearce in a recall election, will likely run for a full term in the Senate next year, his campaign manager told the Arizona Capitol Times.

Lewis, who will take his oath of office as a legislator on Tuesday, is prepared to run against Senate Minority Leader David Schapira if the two end up in the same district, said Anson Clarkson, who ran Lewis’ campaign.

“It would take something pretty big for him to decide not to run,” Clarkson said.

The legislative map proposed by the Independent Redistricting Commission places Lewis and Schapira in a competitive district that leans Democratic.

However, if Schapira, who is mulling a Congressional run, decides to go for the higher office, it would leave his Senate seat vacant. That would make it easier for Lewis to prevail.

The proposed District 26 includes Tempe, but it would also swing into west Mesa, grabbing Lewis’s home.

Surveying the draft map, Clarkson said the proposed district includes a sizable portion of south and west Mesa, where Lewis’s base of support comes from.

That means many of those who voted for Lewis on Nov. 8 will have the chance to do so again if the proposed map is finalized, Clarkson said.

A political neophyte, Lewis beat Pearce by a healthy margin in the historic recall that just concluded this month. The challenger received nearly 13,000 votes compared to Pearce’s 10,000.

But before he can try and knock off Schapira or any other Democrat Lewis will have to accomplish something he hasn’t yet – win his own party’s nomination in a primary.

Pearce earlier vowed to ensure that Lewis gets a primary opponent.

Pearce also indicated he would run against Lewis if they ended up in the same district.

“Jerry Lewis will survive a primary and will be formidable in a competitive district,” Clarkson said.

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