Russell Pearce Skunked by Bob Worsley in LD 25 Republican Primary
Addressing friends, family, and backers from a curved staircase decorated in red, white and blue bunting and overlooking his den, the SkyMall founder thanked everyone who had helped with his win, donated to his campaign, and/or endorsed him.
"This may seem odd to you," Worsley stated finally. "But [Russell Pearce] has served faithfully the past 11 years in the Legislature to the best of his personal belief. I believe that Russell did what he thought he needed to do . . . And I salute him for his service."
Then he offered Pearce a more, um, indirect compliment.
"I do see things a little different, but that doesn't mean we can't say thank you for the effort he made," he insisted, his wife Christi by his side.
"And frankly, it will be easier to solve immigration based on a lot of things that he's done. Because we can now see that a state-enforcement-only law like [Senate Bill 1070] does not work."
This earned him a burst of applause. He noted that this was not "an official victory speech," but merely "an interim speech" until Pearce was heard from.
Meanwhile, Pearce was hunkered down at Mesa's RockinRRanch with the usual members of his cult of personality, including his ex-Justice of the Peace brother Lester, also a big loser tonight in the District 2 county supervisor primary, where tusker Steve Chucri bested him 56 to 44 percent.
Reportedly, Russ and his goons denied the media access to his pity party. So you know my videographer pal Dennis Gilman and I would not have stood much of a chance gaining entree.
We did swing by the Triple-R after leaving Worsley's pad. But it was already closed, the parking lot almost completely abandoned.
At Worsley's house, there had been numerous accounts of Pearce sightings during the day, outside Mesa polling places. Apparently, Pearce was eyeballed handing out literature. Not for himself, but for a slate of precinct committeemen loyal to him.
The scuttlebutt was that Pearce, like some Sand Land GOP version of Jason in the Friday the 13th flicks, was plotting his return. This time, to the chairmanship of the Arizona Republican Party.
That may be doable for Pearce, seeing that the state party practically worships him as a nativist god, electing him in January to its First Vice Chairmanship.
Like some malevolent spirit exorcised for the moment, Pearce lurks in the shadows, sullen and discontent. Bent on revenge, no doubt.
Still, Pearce has been soundly defeated by his fellow Mesans, his fellow Mormons, and his fellow East Valley Republicans.
All that's left is for the Arizona GOP's state committee to learn the same hard lesson and to reject Pearce's politics of hate.
This result may require a mini-civil war to oust for good the pro-Pearce faction.
But like the Good Book says, "Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof." And Pearce, a bigoted ogre who was once the most powerful politician in the state, has been beaten back yet again, by a coalition of die-hard lefties, committed right-wingers, and everything in between.