Russell Pearce couldn't win the recall election with a shill candidate, so he decided to be the shill candidate.
On Saturday, the Arizona GOP held its annual meeting and election. Chairman Tom Morrissey put together a slate of "conservative" candidates. The slate candidate for first vice chairman was Stephen Kohut, tea partier from Pinal County.
His opponent was long-time party loyalist and activist Diane Ortiz-Parsons.
Over the holidays it became obvious that Ortiz-Parsons was going to win this election. The only way the slate was to win is if they brought in a big gun like Pearce last minute. It worked; Pearce won the election and carried the slate. But 48 hours off a fresh victory, he filed paperwork with the Secretary of State's Office to run for the new Senate seat in LD25, Mesa.
So why would Pearce run for this state party position if he never planned on serving his full term?
According to Arizona Republican Party Bylaws: "In the case of a vacancy in an elective office... the state chairman shall... appoint a successor." With Pearce vying to win his old seat back, will Morrissey "appoint [as] successor" his original slate candidate? Welcome to the "new" AZGOP.