The race for the seat of Arizona state senate Republican Russell Pearce, a key sponsor of the controversial immigration law SB1070, is heating up. His newest opponent, Andrea Garcia, is a Latino woman running on the Libertarian Party ticket who is basing her campaign to unseat Pearce on his support of the controversial law. “My goal is to get Pearce out of the legislature. I believe the approval of state law SB1070 shows the damage his ideas can cause our communities,” says Garcia.
Support for and opposition to SB1070 has become a major issue in this year’s state-wide elections in Arizona and has proven a polarizing topic pitting mostly Republican supporters of the law against all opponents, especially Democrats. However, by many indications, support for the law has helped candidates around the state including Governor Jan Brewer, who won the Republican primary with nearly 82 percent of votes cast. She now faces Democratic challenger Terry Goddard over whom she holds a significant lead.
Garcia faces a formidable incumbent opponent with substantial financial backing and appears to understand that victory is a long shot. She says, however, “I hope that when [voters] realize that SB1070 has really done nothing to prevent undocumented immigration and that, on the contrary, it is hurting our communities, these people will change their minds.”
State-led immigration enforcement has also been an important campaign topic in state elections in Minnesota, California, Florida, and elsewhere.