Jeff Flake Endorses Russell Pearce Foe Bob Worsley at 11th Hour

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

Why did Republican Congressman and U.S. Senate candidate Jeff Flake wait till practically the last possible minute to endorse Bob Worsley, the foe of recalled, disgraced ex-state Senate President Russell Pearce in the GOP primary for Legislative District 25?

After all, the tusker golden-boy has never gotten along with bigot- clodhopper Pearce.

Back in the day, the nativist warrior had a sharpened ax ready to skin Flake alive with, being that Flake was at one time a co-proponent in the U.S. House with none other uber-liberal Illinois Representative Luis Gutierrez of comprehensive immigration reform, a stance Flake has since flaked on.

Back in 2007, Pearce, then a state Representative,donned a toupee in hopes of taking on the younger Flake in the Sixth Congressional District's GOP primary . However, the hair rug was no help in raising cash. Pearce pulled in only about $23K, and he eventually ditched the effort, choosing to run (successfully) for state Senate in 2008 from Legislative District 18.

But Pearce suffered payback that year in the form of Flake's brother-in-law Kevin Gibbons, who gave him a primary in Legislative District 18. Pearce eventually won the contest, but not before a long string of his dirty laundry was aired by an independent expenditure committee headed by GOPer Nathan Sproul, which hit LD 18 voters with a series of stinging mailers exposing Pearce's political sins on a number of fronts.

Also, Pearce's personal Willie Horton, now deceased neo-Nazi baby killer J.T. Ready, became an issue. Sproul featured him in an attack mailer. And Flake and two other Arizona Congressmen -- in a move obviously aimed at embarrassing Pearce --wrote a letter to the county GOP demanding that Ready be drummed out of the local Republican Party, as he was then an elected precinct committeeman.

Given this history of bad blood, what was the hold up for Flake? It's not like his backing of Worsley came as any surprise. Here's what Flake typed Saturday on Facebook:

"Arizona's Legislative District 25 is located entirely in the city of Mesa. It's where I live. For the State Senate, I'm casting my vote for Bob Worsley. I've gotten to know Bob over the past few years. He's a family man, a successful businessman and a natural leader. Bob Worsley is just the kind of conservative we need at the State Capitol."

Great. So why not endorse Worsley a couple of weeks ago, when it would have meant more?

Maybe Flake feared that such an endorsement would be used against him by his wingnut primary foil, Pearce-suckup Wil Cardon. That would explain his waiting till this Saturday, when his nod would have minimal impact, to him or to Worsley.

If that was the case, it was unusually pusillanimous for Flake, who no doubt will crush Cardon today in the primary. So why even bother with this 11th hour endorsement?

Perhaps Flake was informed of a pending victory for Worsley, and so thought it would look, um, weird that he did not lend Worsley a hand.

Predictions of a Pearce loss are now running rampant, with even Pearce max-contributor and longtime pal Stan Barnes of Copper State Consulting speculating over the weekend that Pearce would lose by 15 points.

The bigger the better, as far as I'm concerned.

At this point, Flake's just hoppin' on the hayride along with everyone else, with Pearce playing donkey, pulling the wagon.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.