Gov. Brewer won't endorse Pearce

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- He wrote the bill that made her a national political superstar and now Gov. Jan Brewer is turning her back on him.

On Thursday, the governor told reporters that she wasn't  endorsing former Senate President Russell Pearce in his primary fight.

When asked if she'd back the Mesa politician, Brewer said, "I'm not inclined too."  Brewer wouldn't say if she'd support Pearce's opponent, wealthy businessman Bob Worsley.

Brewer's comments mark a sharp turn from last year when she publicly endorsed Pearce in the recall election that eventually ran him out of office.

Pearce is the author of some of the state's toughest immigration laws, including SB 1070. After signing that bill in 2010, Brewer became a national political celebrity nearly overnight.

Neither Pearce nor members of his campaign staff immediately returned phone calls seeking comment for this story.

But so far, his bid to pull off a political comeback hasn't gone well for a man once considered one of the most powerful politicians in the state.

He's struggled to raise money to fund his campaign, and has suffered from a seemingly never-ending string of bad press about his questionable campaign tactics and comments made about the recent mass killing in Colorado.

Pearce raised about $2,800 in the first five months of the year, according to his financial reports. That puts him on pace to make far less than the $260,000 he raised last year.

There was also the release of thousands of Pearce emails in the last month.

Some of those emails included racially charged statements like: "Can we maintain our social fabric as a nation with Spanish fighting English for dominance? It's like importing leper colonies and hope we don't catch leprosy. It's like importing thousands of Islamic jihadists and hope they adapt to the American Dream."

And most recently, Pearce has been touting the endorsements of little known education groups that either misspell "eduction" or have little or no connection to schools.

For example, Pearce has bragged about winning the support of the Arizona Teacher's (sic) Association. One of the organization's officials, Caroline Condit, told 3TV last week that, "“When you say teacher, I go by the strict definition of what a teacher is, so it’s not just a classroom teacher in the school."

Pearce also had to apologize for comments he made on Facebook about the shooting that left 12 dead and 58 others injured in Colorado last month.

Pearce wrote "Had someone been prepared and armed they could have stopped this 'bad' man from most of this tragedy. He was two and three feet away from folks, I understand he had to stop and reload. Where were the men of flight 93????."