Russell Pearce Challenger Jerry Lewis Formally Announces Candidacy in LD 18 Recall Race

Lewis_announces.jpg
Southwest Pictures, LLC
Jerry Lewis announces, as Supervisor Don Stapley (far right) looks on

As Eddie Albert liked to say in The Longest Yard (the original, not the Adam Sandler remake), "His-to-ry."

That's what Arizona witnessed this morning in Mesa in the garden room of the Victorian-style Wright House, the quaint, embowered venue where so many marriages have taken place. 

There, charter school superintendent and former CPA Jerry Lewis stood before a crowd of supporters and press hounds, to announce his challenge to state Senate President Russell Pearce in the recall election scheduled for November 8 in Legislative District 18.

"Some have asked me why I'm running for this senate seat," Lewis told the crowd, dressed casually in khakis and a button-down blue Oxford shirt. "The answer is simple. I believe it's time to restore a style of leadership to Mesa that its residents can be proud of."

With backers such as Maricopa County Supervisor Don Stapley looking on, Lewis spoke of the importance job growth and recruiting businesses for the district, as well as the significance of investing in education.

"Safeguarding that investment will be one of my top priorities as a state senator," he vowed to enthusiastic cheers from the audience.

Lewis also promised a clean campaign against Pearce, who is known for his mean-spirited vendettas and his retribution against rivals.

"I will not make negative personal attacks against my opponent," he said. "He is a member of my community and a friend. Our shared faith teaches us to treat others with respect and kindness. That is how I will campaign and that his how I will lead at the state Senate."

Noble sentiment, one I can envision the dark prince of Arizona politics Chuck Coughlin sneering at, what with Coughlin's recent threats against anyone who challenges Pearce's supremacy as the Sauron-like Lord of Sand Land.

Between the white hats and the black hats, Lewis is definitely wearing the former: A Richmond many hope will slay (metaphorically, natch) Mesa's Richard III. Though, Lewis apparently plans to kill him with kindness.

Troubling, though, was the news yesterday of an attack on Lewis as he was doing an early morning jog. An assailant reportedly threw a padlock at Lewis, nailing him in the groin. Initial accounts had the incident occurring Monday. It actually took place Saturday.

Mesa attorney and Lewis confidante W. Dea Montague introduced Lewis, who, after his short address, left, supposedly to file formal notice with the Arizona Secretary of State's Office

Montague explained that Lewis had been shocked by the attack, but had no idea whether or not it was politically motivated.

(Fill in your own joke about Chuck Coughlin's whereabouts on the morning in question.)

I wondered if Lewis or his family had received any threats since his name was first floated. Montague said that so far, the only threats had been political.

Supervisor Stapley held court with a few fourth estaters after Lewis had left. He expressed the hope that Lewis' candidacy would mean a new day in Mesa politics, and Arizona politics as well.

"Instead of this concept that we're going to rule by fear, and if you don't play our way, on our team...we'll attack you in some way, Jerry is one who will listen to all sides and then make the right decision," he stated.

Stapley challenged Pearce to play clean as well. He noted that part of his supervisorial district covers LD 18, and that he lives in Mesa, though in LD 19.

"This would be a positive change," he said of the possibility of a Lewis win. "In the sense that we would have someone who would listen to the people, to the voters and who will represent them in a better way, especially on jobs and education and the economy, areas that Senator Pearce has virtually ignored."

He also pointed out that Pearce is hardly the King Kong of LD 18 that some in the media believe him to be.

"Right out of the box, 10,000-plus signatures on the recall petition, it's never been done in the state of Arizona, ever," he said. "There's a lot of dissatisfaction. I talk to a lot of the residents of District 18 on a regular basis, in meetings, on the phone, on the street. There's generally a very large number of people who are very unhappy...with the lack of leadership by the current senator."

Along those lines, Stapley criticized Pearce for not supporting the extension of federal unemployment benefits, noting that those were dollars that will not be going into the state's economy. 

As far as immigration goes, Stapley said he believed Lewis would support the stance of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which has espoused a humane, common-sense approach to the issue.

Regarding the influence of LDS voters in LD 18, Stapley said he believed there may be more Catholics than Mormons in LD 18, but that those of both faiths will be attracted to Lewis' candidacy. 

However, the fact that Lewis, unlike Pearce, has held high positions of leadership in the Mormon Church, will no doubt help him.

"I think that's a natural consequence," Stapley observed. "It can't help but benefit him."

Lewis has served as an LDS bishop and as a stake president previously. He's known for instructing Mormon youth, and for being a Vice President of the Grand Canyon Council of the Boy Scouts of America. 

In short, he is everything Pearce is not. And in this game, with Arizonans in general being weary of the merchants of hate who govern this state, the fact that Lewis is not a career politician is also a plus. 

If Lewis wins, all of Arizona wins, and Pearce's political career will effectively be over. And the white hats will have won, for a change.

My Voice Nation Help
57 comments
Concerned Citizen
Concerned Citizen

What a refreshing change Jerry Lewis would be for Arizona. We wish him well. 

Rachellwski
Rachellwski

This has been the best news i have heard thus far! Go Lewis!!!!

Hiretommy
Hiretommy

My name is Tommy Cattey. Please remember that name as I will be the next senator from LD 18 in Mesa. The New Times has apparently not heard of my name. Please see my web page at www.catteyville.com

Tommy Cattey

Gordito
Gordito

Can't wait to see another Jerry Lewis hit the skids, as he fumbles through an useless waste of tax payer dollars. Russel is right and will remain in office. Sorry La Raza, your crap just won't fly anymore! 

Harry Wisencraker Jr.
Harry Wisencraker Jr.

RustyP's ass is in the wind, there's gonna be a shiny new Mormon in this State.  Then we go after the rest of the dolts helped into office by the SorryBastard1070.

Airy
Airy

Little Gordo, I agree. Pearce is beloved by too many Arizonans, because he has the balls to actually represent, well, ARIZONANS. Just look over to California, the politicians there DON'T, represent Californians. Seems like a simple choice. Why complicate these matters?

Jason
Jason

Can't wait until your hero and savior Pearce is booted from the Legislature. I'll be there with my camcorder filming it!!

Pearce is just a sad clown. Like his hero the Flaccid Fool of MCSO.

Coz
Coz

Anybody is better than Pearce, just as Bozo the clown would be better than Arpaio.

Harry Wisencraker Jr.
Harry Wisencraker Jr.

I don't know Coz, while we could wait until 2012 to eliminate the bozos, I like the bitter humiliation of recall elections and the final walk thru the gauntlet of shame.  Pearce is one pig with his ass on fire and all he can smell is his own bacon frying ... god I love the smell of bacon frying.

Jason M.
Jason M.

As do I.

"God I love the smell of bacon frying"

Jason
Jason

2 clowns down, several hundred to go!!

shocked
shocked

no kidding.   Let's go after every politician Pearce and Joe have endorsed and clean house.  Let's start In LD 19.  We have a lot of minions to get rid off in the next elections. 

Jason M.
Jason M.

Then we can clean house at all levels of government

"We have a lot of minions to get rid of in the next elections."

weilin2
weilin2

Hello,everyone,sorry take your time a min,show a good fashion stuff 

website —— www (vipstores) net —— you can input on your web there,if you

do know how to do,you can click my username and you will come 

our company website,maybe you will find something your like,thanks!

mikefrombisbee
mikefrombisbee

Can Mr. Jerry Lewis get an endorsement from Dean Martin? And where's the address for contributing funds to the campaign?

43211
43211

Goodbye Russel, you can always go back to making locks, beating up your wife, attending nazi rallies and fathering criminals.

Truth to Power
Truth to Power

Where was Howie? Was he getting his opinion from Pearce? 

Tina
Tina

No report by Howard Fischer about the Jerry Lewis campaign kickoff event this morning.  Instead, it was written up by the EVTribune's sole reporter Garin Groff who also got some statements from Matt Tolman, chairman of LD 18 republicans.  Tolman has the unwieldy task  of trying to make Pearce look good, doing his best by parroting Pearce's balderdash. 

For example, "Matt Tolman, head of Citizens Who Oppose the Pearce Recall, said Pearce has done what his constituents want."  WHAT??

We constituents didn't even know about his Fiesta Bowl bribery (claimed to be valued at $39,000) until the results of an investigation were made public earlier this year.  Nor were we knowledgeable in advance of his wing-ding "birther" bill that violated the 14th Amendment, ditto for his infamous  bill that would have permitted a select state committee of the legislature and himself to violate any federal law of their choosing.   His wheeling and dealing with self-serving lobbyists and special interest groups like FAIR and ALEC; his insulting us by calling us "outsiders," "left-wing anarchists" and many other derisive terms he impulsively spewed.  

It doesn't register with Pearce that if we "wanted" that behavior in our representative, he would not have been recalled.    

Ross
Ross

Probably trying to get an opinion from Lewis, whose idea of a media event is to duck out the door without answering any questions.  Stapley said he would have advised him to stick around. 

East Valley Tribune reports that Lewis was asked to sign a recall petition, but refused.  I expect many more strange developments in this campaign during the next three months.

Adrian Cruz
Adrian Cruz

Mr. Lewis gave several interviews the night before and several yesterday.  As opposed to Russell Pearce who appears to finally be getting some good advice and has been completely invisible since June.  Coach Coughlin gave Pearce a good tongue lashing and told him to shut his mouth and quit giving the Recall people so much good material. 

Ross
Ross

So let's recap what we know about Jerry Lewis from these interviews.

1)  Maybe he has a degree from some place other than a diploma mill, and maybe he doesn't.

2)  Maybe he has a wife and kids, and maybe he doesn't.  Maybe he has beaten his wife, or maybe not.  Maybe his kids have never gone to jail.

3)  Maybe he went on a Mormon mission to Africa and inspired a musical, and maybe he didn't.

4)  Maybe his CPA career ended when the firm that employed him closed shop amidst Enron-style scandals, or maybe it didn't.

How about a morning poll?  These questions are more likely to be answered first by Lemons, or Fischer?

Vera Kwaayesnama Skorupski Sko
Vera Kwaayesnama Skorupski Sko

I am not a Mormon but have a few friends that are and they are disturbed because many of their neighbors and business associates look at Pearce as an example of their faith. Having Jerry Lewis as an example of their faith will be an asset to all kind, good people that practice the Mormon faith.

Yourproductsucks
Yourproductsucks

Harry Reid is the one who is a disturbing example of the Mormon Faith..

Tina
Tina

In what way?

Vera Kwaayesnama Skorupski Sko
Vera Kwaayesnama Skorupski Sko

Jerry Lewis is not only running for LD 18 he is also running for the entire state of Arizona. Until Pearce with his politics of hate and intimidation is removed from office Arizona will not be able to recover economically. During Pearce’s tenure as president of our senate he has made Arizona the laughing stock of the nation. IMO the best thing about Jerry Lewis is that he is an educator, I'm hoping that he will fight for more books in Arizona’s schools rather than guns. This Arizona resident is looking forward to helping and donating to his campaign.

Chad Snow
Chad Snow

That's a great point, Vera - more books and teachers in Arizona's schools and less guns!!! 

Yourproductsucks
Yourproductsucks

fallacious reasoning...false dichotomy alert.

Can you say "Fast and Furious?"

Jason
Jason

Agreed. And I live in LD19.

Zarco Guerrero
Zarco Guerrero

It is a wonderful day when the citizens of Mesa put their best person forward and his style of leadership takes us into a better world!     Congratulations to all my neighbors for coming together.  We cant wait to call him Senator Lewis!!  He will do a great job representing all of us!

Doemark47
Doemark47

Yes he will do a great job and welcome illegal's to our state so they can break the law by working with false documents.

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

" Lewis spoke of the importance job growth and recruiting businesses for the district, as well as the significance of investing in education."

Right, Jerry.......and after decades of conservative rule, you republicons have proven your total incompetence in all three of these areas. Just look at the great shape this state is in with the current cabal of cons in power.

Vic
Vic

But that is present day only.  Former leaders here,including GOP such as Goldwater, loved their state and put forth their best efforts for the state and the people.  There is absolutely no reason that Az cannot be represented that way again. The best steptoward that goal is removing the stink of Pearce and thereby showing future leaders(and present ones who want to hold their office) that we voters are not going to putup with it anymore.

Chad Snow
Chad Snow

Chuck Coughlin was right - politics is a team sport.  The voters of Mesa can now decide which team they want to be on. 

Russell Pearce has pursued a very extreme agenda at the legislature and has been an enemy of education and our state's economy.  He has clearly become a tool of outside special interests like CCA, ALEC, FAIR, and the Fiesta Bowl.  His only supporters at this point are lobbyists.  He has been dishonest with the voters of Mesa with regard to his involvement in the Fiesta Bowl, his ties to Neo Nazi's, the recall effort, and many other issues.  He has presided over the most divisive, polarizing period in our state's history. 

"Team Lewis" on the other hand, has shown that they will take the high road and reintroduce integrity and comity to the state legislature.  He will unite our state rather than divide it.  He will focus on issues that are higher on the priority list like education, health care, and economic growth.  He can restore the credibility of the state Republican party, which has recently too often backed extreme, one-issue ideologues like Pearce, Arpaio, and Thomas. 

Which team are you on? 

Yourproductsucks
Yourproductsucks

I can't, in good conscience be aligned with the likes of LaRaza, ACORN, Puente, Gallindo, Reza, Parraz, Wilcox, and the other race baiting, lying, cheating, unethical groups and individuals who are opposing Pearce due solely on the threat of losing capitol if the borders are secured.

Those who scream that SB1070 is racist and has led to racial profiling are liars and cheats.  Stauffer was dead on when he discussed SB1070 with King.  I couldn't agree more with the guy.

Those who twist the relationship between Pearce and JJ Redy are participating in nothing more than unethical political rhetoric.  

The members of the legislature who were given tickets to events from the Fiesta Bowl Committee did nothing wrong and were well within the rules established.  Pearce messed up by not recognizing that fact.  

Chad, be honest and tell the public why you have aligned yourself with the above groups and individuals.

Tina
Tina

Boy have you ever got hate oozing out of your pores, with your twisted mischaracterizations and untruths displayed in almost every sentence you've written.  Your depiction of the undisclosed (and unlawful) gifts and bribes from and to the Fiesta Bowl organization, and Pearce's $39,000 in personal benefits from  same, is deserving of an award for creative writing. 

Who are "Stauffer" and "King"?  First names?  

Tina
Tina

Your witness, counselor.

Linda Gallie
Linda Gallie

Team Lewis has my support.  He is a prayer answered!   An educated man. A member of the LDS Church.  A Republican and a heck of a decent human being. He is also from the private sector so he knows about having a "real" job!  Awesome!! 

Tina
Tina

Chad, you have that remarkable ability to succinctly convey relevant facts with  the minimum number of words.  Especially meaningful about Pearce is, "He has been dishonest with the voters of Mesa with regard to his involvement in the Fiesta Bowl, his ties to Neo Nazi's, the recall effort, and many other issues."

I believe that that trait of his chronic dishonesty is the worst of all.  A person who is habitually dishonest can never be trusted....with or about ANYTHING. 

Coz
Coz

Yours, is there any other ?

Jason
Jason

Team get rid of Pearce.

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

What the hell would any republicon know about the high road and integrity? Try to remember past yesterday and look at the shape this state is in after decades of total conservative rule. They have turned Az. into a toilet of incompetence and corruption.

Jason
Jason

Pearce is finished. He might as well hang his head in shame and resign.

With Stapley, a conservative Mesa Republican, backing Lewis, Pearce will fall faster than lightning can strike. Let's not forget that Stapley took on our mentally unstable Republican former county attorney, Candy Andy, and our corrupt Republican law-enforcement chief, the Flaccid Fool of MCSO, and won, Pearce has absolutely no chance.

Anon
Anon

Jason, Couldn't agree more. When's Thomas trial for possible disbarment?

Jason M.
Jason M.

September 12. Only about 40 more days.

Evalleyguy
Evalleyguy

Stapley is finished.. So you think by this perv giving someone their support will help him today?  I wouldn't hang my hat on that one just yet.   

Jason
Jason

If memory serves, Stapley took on our mentally unstable former county attorney, who is a Republican, and our corrupt county law-enforcement chief, who is also a Republican, and won against two indictments and over 150 charges of corruption.

As a result, Candy Andy Thomas is facing a disbarment trial on September 12, as well as an abuse-of-power probe. Also, the Flaccid Fool of MCSO is facing an abuse-of-power probe by the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Stapley, on the other hand, has spent nearly $2 million fighting the bullshit corruption charges leveled against him by Joe and Andy. He also has a $15 million lawsuit against Maricopa County for the charges that is currently pending in U.S. District Court.

So, I don't think Stapley's going away quite yet, as much as you want him to. But your good buddies Andy and Joe will be going away. To federal prison. For a very long time.  

Ross
Ross

You're right.  The headline and lede here are STAPLEY ENDORSES LEWIS.  Too bad the local media haven't quite figured out the story yet.

Speaking of the media, who was that really weird-looking guy behind Lewis's left shoulder, on the Channel 12 videotape?

Meanwhile, let's remember that it doesn't take much to be better than Pearce.  Lewis is no doubt opposed to same-sex marriage, and benefits for same-sex partners, and rational drug policies, and in-state tuition for undocumented college students who have lived in Arizona most of their lives.  But then, he could still be to the left of Janet Napolitano,

Truth to Power
Truth to Power

Pearce has never gone on an LDS mission, has never held a position in the Church leadership (as is common for nearly all LDS men), and, I am told, neither have his children.

Being exposed to other cultures, ways of thinking, holding community and church leadership positions and actually understanding budgets is what makes Lewis a standout candidate. If Mesa residents are presented with a signature petition, the only one they should sign is for Jerry Lewis.

Yourproductsucks
Yourproductsucks

I did not know that an individual was measured by the calling he held in the church.  Thank you for the enlightenment.

FYI- two of Pearce's sons did, in fact, serve fulltime missions, but don't let facts get in the way of you making a point.

Jason
Jason

Which ones? The one with the Nazi war eagle? The one who works for the Flaccid Fool of MCSO? Or the one that works for Gilbert PD?

Chad Snow
Chad Snow

Pearce has also never worked a day in the private sector in his entire life.  Someone who has received nothing but government checks their whole life probably doesn't know a lot about job creation or economic growth. 

Yourproductsucks
Yourproductsucks

Your response to "truth to power" gives inference that you are agreeing with his statement, however false it may be.  But you are an attorney, you have forfeited ethical behavior for economic gain. 

Jason
Jason

Pearce has NEVER worked in the private sector. He was in the Army (a federal government public-service job), then worked for the MCSO (a public-service job), then he worked for the DMV (a public-service job) and then was elected to the Legislature (a public-service job)

Coz
Coz

Yes he has and been fired for fraud, theft and everything else you can think of.

Tina
Tina

Coz, you mean he has worked in the private sector..."and been fired for fraud, theft and everything else you can think of."?   If so, fill us in.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

General

Home

Loading...