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Conservative icon Pearce loses again by double digits (access required)

Except for his concession speech, it’s all over for Russell Pearce.

Outraised and outspent, the man who helped elevate Arizona onto the national stage in the illegal immigration debate, failed on Tuesday to persuade his party-mates to send him back to the state Legislature.

It was the former Senate president’s second loss since November – when he was ousted from office in a recall election – against an opponent who holds moderate views on immigration enforcement.

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Pearce, Latino Republican group members tied to sham candidate Olivia Cortes (access required)

Last year a spokesman for the Arizona Latino Republican Association recorded a robo call implying Mesa residents could vote for a woman accused of being a sham candidate in the recall election of state Sen. Russell Pearce.

Earlier the association’s vice president, collected signatures for the woman, Olivia Cortes, who dropped out of the race after a judge found she had been recruited to draw votes away from Pearce’s opponent.

Now, the association is playing a key role on behalf of Pearce in his primary campaign against Republican Bob Worsley.

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Brewer: ‘I’m not inclined’ to endorse Pearce

A year ago, Gov. Jan Brewer was the most high-profile defender of Russell Pearce during his recall.

But today, as Pearce faces a tough GOP primary battle, the governor appears to be backing away from the ousted Senate president, and said she has no plans to endorse him.

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