But today, as Pearce faces a tough GOP primary battle with Bob Worsley, the governor appears to be backing away from the ousted Senate president, and said she has no plans to endorse him.
“I’m not inclined to,” Brewer said today when asked if she would endorse Pearce.
Brewer did not say whether she would endorse Worsley or simply not endorse in the Mesa-based Legislative District 25 primary.
“I haven’t given it any thought,” she said.
Brewer’s lack of support for Pearce is a sharp departure from her position during the 2011 recall campaign against the former Senate president, when she urged support for her “friend and colleague.”
“Once again, it is time to take a stand against those who boycott and hurt our state! We need leaders who believe in securing our border and protecting our citizens. Russell Pearce is that man, and we need keep him on our team,” Brewer wrote in a July 2011 fundraising plea for Pearce that touted his work on SB1070, the landmark illegal immigration law that Pearce sponsored and shepherded through the Legislature.
Brewer was mired in a tough GOP primary when SB1070 landed on her desk in April 2010, but her popularity soared after signing the bill and her three primary opponents dropped out of the race before election day. Many credited the bill, and Pearce, with significantly helping Brewer to victory, and Pearce said after the election that she wouldn’t have been elected if not for SB1070.
But Brewer appears to have parted with Pearce since he lost his November recall election to Jerry Lewis. The governor did not give Pearce one of her tickets to the U.S. Supreme Court hearing on SB1070 in April.
Pearce could not immediately be reached for comment.