Tommy Cattey, the Mesa resident who had filed paperwork to campaign against state Senate President Russell Pearce in the upcoming Legislative District 18 recall election, has dropped out of the race and endorsed fellow contender Jerry Lewis.
Cattey, who made his announcement at the Wright House in Mesa this morning, told me via phone that he had the 621 signatures necessary in order to have his name placed on the November 8 ballot, but that he didn't want to risk splitting the vote and allowing Pearce to win.
"It was just too big of a gamble," the audiologist and former Marine explained, adding, "and as corny as it sounds, Russell Pearce has got to go."
That leaves neophyte Olivia Cortes, and Mesa educator Jerry Lewis still in the battle to end Pearce's political career. Some believe Cortes is a plant by the Pearce camp, but she has denied she's in it to split the vote in favor of Pearce.
I commend Cattey on his noble act, putting the best of his community ahead of ego and ambition. Now if Cortes will fall on her sword, the contest will be between Lewis and Pearce, as it should be.
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All Cortes can do is pull some votes from Lewis. Whether intentionally or not, she's essentially doing the bidding of the Pearce camp by being in the race. I urge her to step aside, and let Lewis and Pearce duke it out.