PHOENIX — In the aftermath of controversial remarks made over the weekend, Russell Pearce has resigned from his post as first vice chairman of the Arizona Republican Party.
Pearce, the former state Senate President, turned in his resignation late Sunday night, a day after telling a radio audience that if he were in charge of Medicaid, female recipients would be sterilized.
In his resignation letter, he write that he had “shared comments written by someone else and failed to attribute them to the author. This was a mistake.”
He added he didn’t want to detract from the party’s fall elections and had handed in his resignation.
Republicans running for office in Arizona began distancing themselves from Pearce’s remarks.
Gubernatorial candidate Doug Ducey said:
I couldn't disagree more with Russell Pearce's deplorable comments. They have no place in our discourse.
— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) September 15, 2014
Mark Brnovich, who is running for attorney general:
Remarks that demean the plight of the poor, including women in the dual role of mother & econ. provider, are not conservative; they’re cruel
— Mark Brnovich (@Mark4AZ) September 14, 2014
Candidate for secretary of state Michele Reagan tweeted:
The obnoxious comments made by Russell Pearce were both disgusting and offensive. Let it be known, he is NOT the voice of my GOP. #Resign!
— Michele Reagan (@VoteReagan) September 15, 2014
Pearce is no stranger to negative headlines; he became the first legislator in state history to be recalled in 2011 and he lost a bid for a state senate seat in a 2012 primary.
Read Pearce’s resignation letter in full.
KTAR’s Jim Cross contributed to this report.