Several months after an embarrassing recall and defeat by another Republican, former Arizona state Senate President Russell Pearce is giving elected office another try.
The controversial architect of the state immigration law S.B. 1070 is running for election to the state senate, he told supporters on Monday.
"I know my duty," Pearce said, according to the Arizona Republic. "It's been a nice vacation, but it's time to go back to work. We have a sacred duty to this land."
Pearce lost his seat in November 2011 to Jerry Lewis, who is also Mormon and a Republican. Democrats and Republicans in the state worked together to collect more than 10,000 signatures to oust Pearce, taking aim at S.B. 1070 and allegations of illegal campaign donations by the then-lawmaker.
This year, though, Lewis won't be an issue. Due to redistricting, Lewis now represents a new district. Pearce will be up against Republican state Sen. Rich Crandall, who held on to his seat in 2010 despite a Tea Party challenge.
Pearce has already regained some standing in the state Republican party: He was elected vice chairman earlier this year.
Before Pearce's 2011 recall, fellow immigration hardliner Sheriff Joe Arpaio said the senator could come back.
"He's a fighter," Arpaio said. "If he does lose, there's another election next year."
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