Photo: Russell Pearce
Republican Russell Pearce, the architect of controversial state law SB1070 and other regulations against undocumented immigration in Arizona, has failed in his attempt to return to the state legislature.
Pearce was defeated Tuesday at the polls by businessman Bob Worsley in the primary election to represent District 25 of Mesa for the Republican Party.
Worsley obtained 55.9 percent of the votes, compared with 44.1 percent for Pearce.
For many critics of the controversial conservative, such as activists Randy Parraz, this could be the end of the political career of the man who at one time was considered one of the most influential people in Arizona state politics.
Last year, the former leader of the state Senate was removed from his post in an historic election.
During the 11 years that he was in the state legislature, Pearce became known for his hard line against undocumented immigration and for promoting laws that make the lives of immigrants in the state more difficult.
Among the laws that he supported is one to deny driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants and one that penalizes companies found to be hiring workers without “papers.”
Pearce gained fame on the national level after Arizona approved state law SB1070, the first in the country to criminalize the presence of undocumented immigrants and which converted the state into the epicenter of the immigration issue.
SB1070 sparked a debate about the rights of states to make their own immigration laws, in defiance of the federal government, a question that has been taken to the Supreme Court.
“This is a very important victory for the Hispanic community, for the immigrant community that is finally understanding the value their vote has and has made it worth something,” Parraz told Efe.