Surrounded by family and supporters in his hometown of Mesa, Pearce acknowledged his defeat in the recall election.
“If being recalled is the price for keeping one’s promises, then so be it. I’ve always kept my promises,” Pearce said. “I’ve always put my loyalty to this Republic, the rule of law and the moral principals that people have died for in this great republic ahead of any personal interests.”
Pearce helped enact tough laws enforcing immigration regulations on a state level, including SB 1070, which spawned copy cat legislation across the nation. Some voters think it went too far.
His opponent, Jerry Lewis, had the advantage of serving in local leadership in the Mormon church, which many say played a role in a heavily Mormon district. Lewis ran on a pledge of civility in politics.
“We needed to have a more representative form of legislators,” Lewis said. “People that listened to the issues that were important to them and would do it in a civil tone and work toward their best interests.”
Pearce will remain in office until election results are official, which should be next week.