Ousted state Senate President Russell Pearce's bag of filthy campaign tricks didn't quite have the impact he'd probably hoped -- as evident from the results of last night's unprecedented recall election.
As it stands right now (official results aren't expected until later this week), Pearce received 9,188 votes, or 45.25 percent of the votes cast.
His opponent -- and state Senator-elect -- Jerry Lewis, took 53.26 percent of the vote with 10,816 votes.
That leaves 1.29 percent of the vote -- which apparently is made up of Legislative District 18 voters who took Pearce's bait and voted for withdrawn sham candidate Olivia Cortes, or a write-in candidate -- as Pearce's cronies encouraged Democrats and Latinos to do in robocalls placed to voters last week.
Cortes' Hispanic last name -- and broken English -- apparently weren't charming enough to sway enough LD 18 voters from Lewis. Cortes took 252 votes last night -- despite her withdrawal from the race after it was revealed that she was a sham candidate running on behalf of Pearce to steal votes from Lewis.
Following Cortes' withdrawing from the race, there were concerns that her BS "candidacy" could still impact the election because the ballots had already been printed with her name on them. The fear was that uninformed voters would vote for Cortes as a vote against Pearce -- again, despite the fact that she withdrew from the race.
In addition to the 252 votes wasted on Cortes, there were 51 votes for write-in candidates -- which also could likely be attributed to Pearce's slimy campaign tactics.
Last week, the conservative Safeguard Arizona's Future PAC, which previously backed former TV pitchman/über-conservative ex-Congressman JD Hayworth in the 2010 Republican U.S. Senate primary -- and is obviously pro-Pearce -- placed robocalls to Democrats in LD 18, encouraging them to cast a "protest" vote by writing in a candidate on the ballot in the Pearce recall. Read all about it here.
The robocalls said the following:
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"Voters beware: If you plan to vote this Tuesday, you should know that both candidates for state Senator, Russell Pearce and Jerry Lewis, are Republicans. The only other candidate, Olivia Cortes, was forced to withdraw last month.
"You can protest this one-sided election by writing in your own candidate. This message is paid for by the Safeguard Arizona's Future PAC, because we believe a well-informed voter is the best voter."
Pearce and his cronies' filthy campaign shenanigans didn't do the trick, though, and the man who once was considered one of the most powerful politicians in Arizona is out of the job.
Without further ado -- and in honor of our colleague Stephen Lemons, who was unable to attend last night's election night festivities -- we'll leave you with the following in remembrance of soon-to-be-former Senate President Pearce: