Pearce files paperwork that would let him run for election again - East Valley Tribune: Mesa

Pearce files paperwork that would let him run for election again

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Posted: Thursday, February 2, 2012 6:15 pm | Updated: 9:11 am, Fri Feb 3, 2012.

Recalled Senate President Russell Pearce has filed paperwork with the Secretary of State's Office that would allow him to seek a return to the Legislature.

But Pearce told Capitol Media Services Thursday that any predictions of a campaign are premature at best.

"I'm getting pushed by a lot of people to run," he said. But Pearce also said he is enjoying his new role as president of Ban Amnesty Now as well as host of a weekly radio show on KFNX in Phoenix.

"I'm having fun with that show," he said.

What stirred up talk of a new Senate bid was that Pearce, like all candidates and elected officials, was required to file an annual report of campaign finances at the end of January.

Pearce noted that the new legislative districts have yet to be approved by the U.S. Department of Justice.

In the interim, lawmakers have set up a system so that candidate campaign finance filings can be made under either the old district designation or the new one. Pearce said he simply chose to use the new district number.

Pearce also reported he still has more than $31,000 in his account, including contributions he received before recall petitions were filed against him. Donations for that race, as well as spending on his unsuccessful bid to keep his office, are filed in a separate account.

He said, though, none of that is an indication of some future race, this year or beyond.

"This is technical stuff," Pearce said of the filing.

If Pearce decides to try to return to the Senate, he would not run against Jerry Lewis, a fellow Republican who defeated him in the Nov. 8 recall. That's because the maps crafted by the Independent Redistricting Commission have placed the two on different sides of the line.

But it would put Pearce in the position of having to wage a primary against incumbent Rich Crandall in whose district he now finds his house.

So far the cost of putting Pearce on the air every Monday night is being underwritten by BAN. Pearce said efforts are underway to find other sponsors.

Pearce said he has conversations with politicians and others involved in the movement to crack down on illegal immigration, including a few on the national horizon. There are, however, no phone calls from listeners.

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