Pearce challenger's campaign donors largely in Mesa - East Valley Tribune: Politics

Pearce challenger's campaign donors largely in Mesa

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Posted: Friday, October 21, 2011 3:23 pm | Updated: 3:41 pm, Fri Oct 28, 2011.

State senate recall candidate Jerry Lewis has raised nearly $68,000 in his campaign targeting Senate President Russell Pearce, with most of the money from Mesa donors.

The Lewis campaign filed its initial campaign report a week before the deadline, making a point to rebuff claims by Pearce supporters that the recall candidate is mostly funded by outsiders.

The election filing shows 68 percent of the money came from Mesa residents. About 31 percent came from other Arizona communities, leaving 1 percent from other states. Lewis counted 407 donors in a race between two Republicans jostling for the Legislative District 18 seat in west Mesa.

Pearce has until Thursday to submit his financial disclosures with the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office.

Lewis campaign spokesman John Giles said he anticipates Pearce’s donations will largely come from outside the district, as filings have shown from past elections.

“I think what you’ll see is really the opposite of what Mr. Pearce has been alleging is the reality,” Giles said. “Jerry is supported by people who live in the district.”

The campaign spent about $40,000 and had $28,000 remaining as of Wednesday. Giles said he doesn’t how much the Lewis campaign will ultimately raise, but he expects Pearce will raise substantially more money.

Pearce enjoys the support of Arizona’s Republican establishment, including Gov. Jan Brewer, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and many fellow lawmakers.

Lewis’s campaign report shows that donors include:

• Ross Farnsworth, owner of Farnsworth Development

• Eddie Basha, the grocery store magnate from Chandler

• Don Evans, former CEO of Banner Baywood Medical Center

• Michael Hughes, school board member of the Mesa Unified School District

• Debra Duvall, former superintendent of the Mesa Unified School District

• Beth Coons, former school board member of the Mesa Unified School District

• Dennis Kavanaugh, the only current member of the Mesa City Council to donate

• Eduardo Pagan, Arizona State University history professor and co-host of PBS’s “History Detectives”

• Wayne Pomeroy, former Mesa mayor

• About two dozen hotel owners from across Arizona

• Contact writer: (480) 898-6548 or ggroff@evtrib.com

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