Russell Pearce Skunked by Bob Worsley in LD 25 Republican Primary
Bob Worsley (left) who pummeled Pearce in yesterday's primary, and Jerry Lewis, who ousted Pearce in last year's historic recall election
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For recalled, disgraced two-time loser, former state Senate President Russell Pearce, there are no more excuses.
Bested in yesterday's Republican primary by Mesa entrepreneur Bob Worsley, a deeply conservative fellow Mormon, Pearce cannot blame his failure on the unique circumstances of last year's recall election, which was open to all eligible voters.
Nope, only GOPers and Independents so inclined could cast ballots for Worsley or Pearce on Tuesday. And at midnight, with 37 out of 37 precincts reporting, the unofficial results of the primary were stunningly similar to the recall's numbers.
Political newcomer Worsley clobbered Pearce by nearly 12 percentage points to become his party's nominee for state Senate in heavily Republican Legislative District 25, where a general election promises to be a mere formality.
Last night, Worsley garnered 12,789 votes to Pearce's 10,087.
In November, Pearce's recall challenger, Jerry Lewis, also topped Pearce by 12 percent, earning 12,812 votes to Pearce's 10,121.
I've heard of deja vu all over again, but this is ridiculous.
Last year's contest in what was then Legislative District 18, featured sham candidate Olivia Cortes, pimped by Russ' friends and family, plus the promulgation of a pack of vicious lies by the Pearce camp about Lewis. Not to mention a physical attack on Lewis, in the form of a padlock to the groin, thrown from a moving car.
This year's LD 25 primary also had its share of weirdness and high jinks, with Pearce's receiving support from the mysterious "Arizona Teacher's [sic] Association," Pearce's claiming a congressman's endorsement before asking for it, and Pearce's self-destructive blame-the-victim comments about the movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colorado.
Oh, and I almost forgot, the May killing spree and suicide of erstwhile Pearce pal, neo-Nazi baby-killer J.T. Ready, which Pearce responded to by whining about the press hounding him for a comment.
As was the case in 2011, at least by the time I left Worsley's stately Mesa home a little before 11 p.m., Pearce had not called his triumphant competitor to concede.
Lewis, who was present to watch to the returns with Worsley and his supporters joked at one point that Pearce should call to congratulate him first, and Worsley second, as Lewis was still owed a call.
Same old Pearce: no class 'til the last. Worsley was far more magnanimous.
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.
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