Recalled former Sen. Russell Pearce is eyeing a return to the Capitol and recently filed paperwork with the Secretary of State’s Office that would set the stage for 2012 campaign.
Pearce, who was ousted in a historic recall election in November, updated his old Senate campaign committee Monday to include his new legislative district, District 25. Prior to redistricting, Pearce had been in District 18.
But the former Senate president said he still hasn’t decided whether to run for the Senate again. He said he amended his campaign paperwork when he went into the Secretary of State’s Office to file his annual financial disclosure form. Election officials told Pearce that he had to update the paperwork for the current election cycle, and he decided to update the district number as well.
“I made it clear when I was doing that … that this was only a technical update,” Pearce told the Arizona Capitol Times. “It doesn’t preclude that I won’t run, but it wasn’t a declaratory filing that I will run. I have made no final decision about running. I’m having a great time with my own radio show.”
Supporters are urging him to run again, Pearce said, and he is considering it. But he’s also enjoying his new radio show and wants to be “where I would have the most impact.”
If he runs, Pearce would face Sen. Rich Crandall – a more moderate Republican who has at times clashed with Pearce – in the GOP primary for the Mesa legislative district.
Sen. Jerry Lewis, who defeated Pearce in the recall election, was drawn into a neighboring district in the recent redistricting process.
Randy Parraz, who organized the recall drive against the illegal immigration hawk, predicted that Pearce would lose in the primary. But if Pearce gets elected, Parraz said he would “definitely” be involved in another recall effort.
“I think it just shows that Russell Pearce has not heard the message loud and clear that his brand of politics is not what Arizona is looking for,” Parraz said.
Pearce’s filing came just two days after he was elected first vice chair of the Arizona Republican Party. He was also recently named president of the anti-illegal immigration group Ban Amnesty Now.