Fierce Clean Elections opponent, Arizona Senate President Russell Pearce (R), was handily defeated in his recall election last night. The Huffington Post reported on the news last night. Pearce opponent, Jerry Lewis "won with roughly 54 percent of the vote," state officials announced on Tuesday evening.
Public Campaign Action Fund's (PCAF) National Campaigns Director, David Donnelly, in the Huffington Post piece: "His opposition to clean elections and his leadership in trying to repeal the law made him an immediate target for us. Given that he already had a target painted on his back because of his controversial positions on immigration, we felt like it was an opportunity to deliver a secondary punch that would knock him out."
PCAF’s Campaign Money Watch project spent over $47,000 on a direct mail campaign that delivered 80,000 pieces of mail to nearly 16,500 people who were likely to cast a vote today, the largest independent expenditure in the campaign. The pieces focused on Pearce’s corruption, ties to lobbyists, and opposition to Clean Elections.
PCAF issued a statement immediately following Pearce's defeat: “Russell Pearce’s loss should serve as a warning to elected officials throughout Arizona. Opposition to Clean Elections and being in bed with special interest lobbyists could earn you an early retirement.”
As the fight to stave off a repeal of the popular Clean Elections law in Arizona goes on, this resounding win against special interest lap dog Pearce will play a critical role. Arizonans like politicians who work for them, not big money backers, and last night was case in point.