Russell Pearce isn't sitting around waiting for the Supreme Court to rule on SB1070, his enforcement-only immigration law. On Wednesday evening, he submitted enough signatures to officially qualify for the Aug. 28 Republican primary election to try and again claim a state senate seat.
He'll square off against Bob Worsley, who is the founder of Phoenix-based Sky Mall magazine. That magazine is famous for selling stuff like this, this and this by circulating a reported 20 million copies on seemingly every domestic flight route.
Fresh off of his November recall election where Pearce lost 55 percent to 43 percent and saw his seat taken by Jerry Lewis, the tough-talking opponent of illegal immigration noted his garnering more than the 591 signatures required to qualify for the primary.
In fact, he turned in 1,497, according to records at the Arizona Secretary of State's office.
"Thank you to everyone for all of your support and prayers. I will continue to fight for family values, pro life, property rights, 2nd amendment liberty, school choice, parental rights, limited government, less taxes, reduction of government intrusion into the private sector (less regulation), secure borders and the 28 principles of liberty as identified in the 5000 Year Leap, as I always have," Pearce wrote on Facebook. "A government that protects our Life, Property and Liberty, not redistribution of your wealth (that you have earned, you have a right to keep - at least most of it!!!"
Worsley submitted 1,420 signatures.
This sets up another battle in Mesa between two Republican Mormons in a redrawn district.
Ryan Anderson, Worsley's campaign manager, said they are planning "the biggest ground game" ever seen in the area.
"We're going to try and take Major League Baseball and apply it to a Little League size field," Anderson said.
That will include mobile apps, social media and targeting every demographic in the district - including the Latino vote. In Mesa alone, Latinos account for 26 percent of the population.
"This guy is not a traditional candidate," Anderson said. "You can imagine as the founder of Sky Mall - voters are like customers and he's looking at how do you market to them and message to them?"
One message, Anderson said, is that there is a general weariness among all voters for the image Arizona - and Mesa in particular - has endured since Gov. Jan Brewer signed SB1070 into law more than two years ago. It became such a charged issue that the Utah Legislature went out of its way to pass a raft of immigration bills to avoid taking an enforcement-only approach.
Currently, Utah's version of SB1070, is in federal court where Judge Clark Waddoups is awaiting the U.S. Supreme Court decision on the portions of Arizona's law that were challenged in lower courts. That decision could come as soon as late June.
Worsley is also a high-profile Mormon, who has a page featured on the LDS Church's "I'm a Mormon" campaign. It was uploaded by him - something any member of the church can do, according to LDS Church spokesman Scott Trotter.
Officials said the profiles are only screened to ensure they don't conflict with LDS doctrine. Pearce, church officials said, could upload his own profile if he wished.
So far, he hasn't.