Arizona is starting to look like blue territory. Latino voters are wielding new clout, even on the Republican side. John Nichols reports in The Nation:
Arizona State Senate President Russell Pearse, the author of that state’s draconian anti-immigrant legislation, was removed from office in a recall election that saw the right-wing Republican defeated by moderate Republican Jerry Lewis. Randy Parraz, the co-founder of Citizens for a Better Arizona, the group that organized the recall drive, said: “This election shows that such extremist behavior will not be rewarded, and will be held accountable.”
Andrei Cherny, Arizona Democratic Party chairman (and TDS Advisory Board member), issued the following statement:
“Tonight, mainstream Arizona dealt a bitter blow to extremism. In choosing Greg Stanton as Phoenix’s mayor, in electing Jonathan Rothschild as Tucson’s mayor, and in recalling Senate President Russell Pearce, the voters have launched a new era of responsible leadership.
“I congratulate Greg Stanton and Jonathan Rothschild, two honorable public servants who share the voters’ priorities for their cities. For the first time in a generation, there will be Democratic mayors in both Phoenix and Tucson — a victory not just for Democrats but for every citizen who cares about the future of these great cities. And I especially congratulate the voters of Legislative District 18 for their courageous decision to stop Russell Pearce’s reckless reign of power over their district, the state Senate and the state of Arizona. Voters are fed up with overreach, abuse of power and attacks on common sense. They expect leaders who will focus on a stronger economy, safer streets and better schools. Tonight, voters are the real winners.”
Other Democratic victories in AZ included: Daniel Valenzuela, Phoenix City Council; Paul Cunningham, Tucson City Council; Regina Romero, Tucson City Council; Shirley Scott, Tucson City Council; and John Williams, Surprise City Council.