Who will challenge Pearce in recall election?

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by Stacey Delikat

azfamily.com

Posted on July 13, 2011 at 9:28 PM

MESA--The petitions have been certified, and the recall election date has been set but it remains unclear who will run against State Senator Russell Pearce in his Mesa district in November.

Political analysts say the fact that no one has come forward suggests a lack of planning on the part of those behind the recall.

"It's a little alarming that we're this far down the process and we have yet to have a candidate that's running," said political analyst Marcus Dell'Artino of First Strategic.

Those organizers of the "Citizens for a Better Arizona" group say they expect a candidate will come forward in the coming week.

Two candidates ran unsuccessfully against Pearce last November. Democrat Andrew Sherwood says he hasn't decided if he'll run again in the recall. Libertarian Andrea Garcia says she was approached to run, but will not.

"I did think about running again and I thought, no, it's political suicide," Garcia said.

Garcia expects Pearce's staunch supporters to put up a strong fight, and she thinks the open field could lead an excess of candidates to split the vote.

She says there is chatter amongst the Legislative District 18 community that a Republican candidate will emerge in the coming weeks.

"If we're talking about the perfect candidate, you would be talking about a male who has grown up in Mesa, a member of the LDS church, is strong on immigration like [Pearce] is, and probably comes from a last name that's well known out there," said Dell'Artino.

Pearce said in a statement on Tuesday that he plans to campaign actively between now and November but a campaign spokesman declined 3TV's request for an inteview.
 

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