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Worsley bruising Pearce on in-district LD25 fundraising

Bob Worsley (left) and former Senate President Russell Pearce (File photos)

While the first round of campaign finance reports paints a limited picture of the closely watched primary race between former Sen. Russell Pearce and his Republican challenger, one thing is clear: Newcomer Bob Worsley is getting the hometown support, while the former Senate president is left wanting.

An inspection of contributions made to each from within the Southeast Valley district shows Worsley besting Pearce by a margin of 25-to-one. When all contributions are counted, Worsley holds a six-to-one margin.

Worsley has received $16,890 in individual and political committee contributions since announcing his candidacy in March of this year. Of the $16,655 that can be traced to the contributors’ address, $7,495, or about 45 percent, comes from inside LD25, while $9,160, or about 55 percent, comes from outside LD25, mostly from Gilbert, Phoenix and Scottsdale.

Meanwhile, Pearce received $2,585 in contributions between February and May of this year. Of the $2,199 linked to a contributor’s address, only $300, or about 14 percent, comes from inside the district, while $1,899, or about 86 percent, comes from outside the district, mostly from Santa Barbara, Calif., Scottsdale and Fountain Hills.

For contributions under $25, no contributor’s address is required. Worsley has raised $235 in those small contributions and Pearce has raised $386.

Ryan Anderson, Worsley’s campaign manager, said he’s not surprised to see those figures.

“Bob Worsley has tremendous support from within Mesa — voters, community leaders, business leaders, families,” Anderson said. “I think it’s telling that not only has Mesa Mayor Scott Smith endorsed Bob Worsley, but the entire Mesa City Council. That is unprecedented.”

Anderson attributes part of the trend to the politically active, close-knit Mormon community in Mesa. Once a candidate has been chosen by community leaders, Anderson said, that decision ripples through the church and social networks.

But more than that, Anderson said it’s Worsley’s hours spent knocking on doors, meeting with voters and holding campaign events within the district.

Neither Pearce nor a member of his campaign staff returned requests for comment.

Russell Pearce’s contributions with old campaign committee contributions included
(Click on the red dots to see contribution details)

Russell Pearce’s contributions since announcing his bid to run in LD25 earlier this year
(Click on the red dots to see contribution details)

Bob Worsley’s contributions since announcing his bid to run in LD25 earlier this year
(Click on the red dots to see contribution details)

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