The Russell Pearce Record

Compiled by Anita Christy

Many people don’t know much about Russell Pearce’s life. They don’t know how his difficult and challenging childhood influenced him for the good, or that he saved a small child from drowning, or that he was critically shot in the hand and chest in the line of duty, for which he was awarded the Medal of Valor–the highest award given in law enforcement for exceptional bravery. They don’t know about his accomplishments as Chief Deputy in the Sheriff’s Department, and later as Director of Motor Vehicles, or that he served admirably as a Judge. And they also don’t know about his exemplary record of accomplishments while serving in the Arizona House of Representatives and the Senate.

"Senator Pearce has become known as a committed public servant, with his love for the Constitution, liberty, advocating for lower taxes, freedom from government intrusion and restrictions, parental rights, school choice, property rights, excellence in education, and his support for law enforcement" Mel McDonald About Russell

What follows is my own compilation of a small portion of Russell Pearce’s many accomplishments. If there are errors of omission, they are mine. If there are any errors at all, they are mine.



  • As a state legislator, Senator Pearce was recognized by the Goldwater Institute as the #1 legislator who “proved to be the strongest ally against government encroachment on liberty.”
  • Russell Pearce was the only Arizonan and one of only seven legislators nationally to receive the “Hero of the Taxpayer” award from the American Tax Reform Association in 2004.
  • Russell Pearce’s rating with the Pachyderm Coalition has consistently been among the Top 3 legislators designated “Reagan Republican.”
  • Pearce has been recognized by the Arizona Taxpayers Association as the #1 Friend of the Taxpayer and ranked as one of the top supporters of the taxpayer.
  • Russell Pearce’s rating consistently from Americans for Prosperity is among the top 3 legislators, earning a cumulative rating of “Champion of the Taxpayer.” In 2009, he was awarded "Legislator of the Year" by Americans for Prosperity.
  • He has been recognized by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) as the top legislator in promoting business and jobs in Arizona. “Small business is rallying to stand up for the man who has stood up for small business for more than a decade,” stated Farrell Quinlan, AZ State Director for the National Federation of Independent Business.
  • Arizona Parents for Education, a grassroots group promoting the interests of Arizona’s public school distance learning programs, awarded Pearce the Golden Apple Award in 2011. “His steadfast support for distance learning and educational choice has improved education for our children at every level,” stated president Ann Robinett.
  • In 2011, Pearce was honored by the Arizona School Public Relations Association for his outstanding contributions to public education.
  • In a ceremony at Arizona State University, Pearce was named a “Champion for ASU” for his support of students, their families, and higher education.
  • He has been honored by the Arizona Technology Council for protecting and advancing Arizona as a top tier technology state several years in a row.
  • He has been awarded “Friend of the Family” since its inception. In 2011, he received the “Hero of the Family” award.
  • Year after year, Senator Pearce has received high recognition by the Center for Arizona Policy, a nonprofit research and education organization committed to promoting and defending the foundational values of life, marriage and family, and religious liberty.
  • He has a 100% voting record on pro-life legislation.
  • Pearce has an A+ rating with the NRA, and he is top ranked by the Arizona Citizens Defense League


As Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Pearce’s motto was “I am the gate keeper not the gift giver. This money comes from the labor of Moms and Dads who have a right to keep the fruits of their labor.”

Jobs, Taxes, and a Stronger Economy

  • In 2011, Pearce led the enactment of 2011’s Arizona Jobs Bill. He worked with Governor Jan Brewer to bring about the largest jobs bill in Arizona history. This brought Arizona’s ranking from #49 to #2 in job creation and economic recovery.
  • As President of the Senate he produced a Constitutionally balanced budget, eliminating the worst structural deficit in Arizona history.
  • He authored and shepherded legislation for the largest tax relief package in state history.
  • He was the prime sponsor of regulatory protection measures for business protecting them from undue actions by organized labor unions.
  • He introduced a “Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment” to require Truth in Budgeting, transparency for taxpayers, stopping gimmicks and requiring government to not spend more money than it takes in.
  • He authored Prop 107 to eliminate Affirmative Action. This stopped all government discrimination, and was passed overwhelmingly by the voters in 2010.
  • Pearce sponsored Prop 103 in 2006, making English the Official Language of Arizona. This was passed by 75% of voters.


  • For several years, Pearce has fought for multiple pieces of legislation that have made Arizona the school choice capital of the country.

The Second Amendment

  • Senator Pearce has authored legislation (SB1108) to protect 2nd Amendment rights, making Arizona #1 in the nation in Second Amendment freedoms.

Private Property Rights

  • Senator Pearce has been instrumental in protecting private property rights and guaranteed constitutional liberties. He was one of the prime sponsors, along with Eddie Farnsworth, of legislation to stop abuse of Eminent Domain by public entities and to protect private property rights.


  • He sponsored Prop 102, the Marriage Amendment.
  • He has sponsored several pieces of legislation to honor, respect, and protect the life of the unborn.
  • In 2006, Pearce sponsored HB 2371 that provided funding for children with autism to “increase programming capacity for those affected by autism and improve the quality of service they receive.”


  • He wrote Prop. 114, which will appear on the 2012 ballot. This protects victims of violent crime from being sued by the suspect.

Illegal Aliens/Economy

The illegal alien population in Arizona costs the citizens of Arizona in many ways. Not only do illegals bring crime that hurt Arizona citizens, but they also place a financial burden on families who live here legally. Illegal aliens use our emergency room medical facilities, receive public benefits, take jobs away from legal citizens, and flow into our schools to be educated. These costs have been reduced due to the efforts of Russell Pearce.

While the use of illegal, cheap labor might benefit some employers, ultimately, all the rest of us pay the price.

  • In 2004 Senator Pearce wrote the Citizens Initiative known as Prop 200, which reduced voter fraud and welfare fraud. Specifically, it required: 1) Proof of citizenship to register to vote. 2) Proof of identity when voting. 3) Proof of citizenship for state welfare benefits. This was passed by 57% of the voters.
  • Senator Pearce authored HB 2779: "Arizona’s Fair and Legal Employment Act," Arizona’s Employer Sanctions legislation, to stop illegal employers and to protect jobs for Arizonans. (This was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-3 decision.)
  • He sponsored Prop 300, No to the DREAM act, in 2006. No taxpayer dollars could be used for illegal aliens for higher education, and no day care. This was passed by 75% of voters.

Illegal Aliens/Crime

  • Senator Pearce authored SB1070. “Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhood Act.” It removes all sanctuary policies in Arizona and allows law enforcement to enforce our laws.

"Since SB1070, Phoenix has experienced a 30-year low crime rate. 600 police vacancies, budget cuts, and old policing strategies didn’t bring about these falling crime rates; SB1070 did. When hard-working rank-and-file Phoenix Police Officers were given access to the tool of SB1070, the deterrence factor this legislation brought about was clearly instrumental in our unprecedented drop in crime. All of this happened without a single civil rights, racial profiling, or biased policing complaint. To ignore the positive impact of SB1070 in the City of Phoenix is to ignore the huge elephant in the middle of the room." Phoenix Law Enforcement Association

  • Pearce sponsored Prop 100 in 2006, a Constitutional Amendment to refuse bond to any illegal alien who commits a serious crime in Arizona. It was passed by 78% of Arizona voters.
  • Pearce sponsored Prop 102 in 2006, to require that any illegal alien who sues a citizen cannot receive any punitive damages. This was passed by 75% of voters.
  • As the Appropriations Chair, he added 200 officers dedicated to going after violent gang members and criminal illegal aliens, and to assist in border enforcement.

Russell Pearce has served on the following Committees in the Arizona Legislature:

  • Chairman of Senate Appropriations
  • Chairman of Joint Legislative Budget Committee
  • Chairman of Joint Committee on Capital Review
  • Judiciary Committee
  • President of Arizona State Senate
  • Finance Committee
  • Additional Biographical Information:
  • Chief Deputy, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office  (Russell Pearce was with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office 23 years. It is the fourth largest Sheriff’s Office in the nation.)
  • Chief Deputy Pearce created "Tent City,” which houses over a 1,000 inmates. Tent City saved taxpayers millions of dollars in construction costs.
  • He started the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Youth Assistance Foundation to create positive interaction between youth and law enforcement.
  • Pearce authored the Arizona Auto Theft Authority without using taxpayer dollars, resulting in a 47% reduction in auto theft in Arizona.
  • Chief Deputy Pearce Wrote Arizona’s AFIS (Arizona’s Fingerprint Identification System), resulting in the use of latent fingerprints obtained at crime scenes and identification of subjects booked into jail under false names. (Thousands of suspects captured as a result.)
  • Pearce helped develop the first helicopter aviation program to aid law enforcement and Search and Rescue efforts in Maricopa County.
  • Early in his law enforcement career, he was shot in the hand and chest in the line of duty while pursuing gang members. He still managed to wrestle one of them into his squad car, called for back-up, and pursued two others.
  • He was awarded the Medal of Valor which is the highest award given in law enforcement for exceptional bravery.
  • He was nominated Deputy of the Year 5 times & Young Law Enforcement Officer of the Year by the JC’s.
  • Judge, North Mesa Justice Court, soon rated one of the most efficiently managed courts in Maricopa County.
  • Director of Arizona’s Motor Vehicle Division
    • Director Russell Pearce helped the Governor in developing GITEM (Gang, Intelligence, Training, Enforcement Mission) a state wide task force to combat the growing gang violence in Arizona.
    • He created “Service Arizona” to renew vehicle registrations and other transactions 24/7 from your home computer, saving taxpayers time and money.
    • He eliminated more than 3 million annual transactions.
    • Director Pearce’s efforts resulted in a reduction in wait times from two hours to 20 minutes.
    • He saved over $10 million annually in administrative costs.
  • Pro-Tem Judge for the Maricopa County Justice Courts
  • For more information, please go to Russell Pearce