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Former State Senator Russell Pearce dead at 75, family announces

Russell Pearce
Posted at 2:56 PM, Jan 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-05 18:25:37-05

MESA, AZ — Former Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce has died at age 75, according to his family.

Pearce, a Republican from Mesa, reportedly died after falling ill at his Mesa home earlier this week.

The family released the following statement on social media to announce his death;

Our beloved Russell Pearce has passed away

Friends and Associates,

Our ever-stalwart Russell K. Pearce passed away today after falling ill at home in Mesa earlier this week. He lived a life of service to God, family and country. He loved us, and we loved him dearly. He has left a positive impact on so many, fighting for decades to promote liberty and justice. We have been blessed to have him here these past 75 years. The family asks for privacy at this time as we remember our beloved Russell.

Pearce introduced Arizona's controversial SB 1070 immigration bill, which allows a police officer to question someone’s immigration status only if there’s a reasonable suspicion that the person is undocumented.

Then-Governor Jan Brewer signed the bill in 2010, which sparked tens of thousands of people to march on the Capitol while some businesses boycotted the state.

In the end, the courts barred enforcement of the law's requirement that immigrants carry registration papers. It also blocked enforcement of a provision aimed at immigrants that prohibited people from blocking traffic when offering or seeking day-labor services on streets.