New lawsuit over Pearce recall election

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By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron

PHOENIX - There are new developments regarding the Russell Pearce recall election and candidate Olivia Cortes.  

Many say she is a sham designed to siphon votes from Pearce's other challenger, Jerry Lewis.  

After the secretary of state's office said it will not investigate allegations of fraud, a Mesa woman filed a lawsuit. ?

Cortes is starting to look more like a legitimate candidate to challenge Senate President Russell Pearce. Her website went live Friday and she issued a press release that says, "I want to have an opportunity, to bring into this race my points of view and observations as a Permanent Alien and later Naturalized American Citizen for over forty years.”?

Cortes was home Tuesday and didn't answer when I dropped by. She didn't respond Friday when 3TV's Frank Camacho left her a note or when I called later. ?

“I don't know the answer but it leads us all to be a little suspicious when she won't answer,” said Bettina Nava of Firststrategic. “I've never heard of a candidate that didn't want a little exposure.”?

As odd as it might seem, the Arizona Secretary of State's office is determined it will not investigate whether Cortes is a shill candidate. ?

On late Friday Pearce recall-supporter Mary Lou Boettcher filed suit against that office, Maricopa County Clerk and the Board of Supervisors saying in part, “Contestant alleges Ms. Cortes is a registered Republican and a member of the "Tea Party."  

Ms. Cortes is a well-known supporter of recalled Senator Russell Pearce. ?

Some political strategists say even if Pearce and Cortes are aligned, it's within the rules. ?

“Everybody knew what was available and what strategies were out there,” said Marcus Dell'Artino. “Quite frankly, a lot of people saw this type of action coming.”?

Pearce’s campaign did not comment on the issue but has said in the past that he does not know Olivia Cortes. ?