It seemed to many Arizona Legislature watchers that the only time State Senator Steve Pierce smiled was when he was thwarting efforts on behalf of the small business owners by his fellow lawmakers. Pierce, who will reportedly not seek re-election to his Legislative District 1 Senate seat, leaves behind a bitter legacy marked by favors for the wealthy and disregard for everyday people.
Pierce has served the powers-that-be since 2009. Pierce could be counted on to do the bidding of the corporate members of the chambers of commerce, and reject nearly any attempt to protect children, and families unless it would ultimately benefit the wealthy, as has the Medicaid expansion he and former Governor Jan Brewer pushed in 2012.
Pierce served as Whip, President pro-tem and Senate President. Senate President Pierce was deposed from that position in 2012 and replaced Sen. Andy Biggs, a Medicaid expansion opponent, by his fellow lawmakers. In his removal from the presidency, lawmakers argued that Pierce had to go during the Republican Primary races in which he poured money into certain primary races to strengthen his grasp on his own power and to the detriment of the Republican Party in the General Election.
For his efforts on behalf of corporations, Pierce was the Arizona Chambers Senator of the Year, and won a 2012 Legislative Appreciation Award from Arizona Hospital and Heathcare Association.
Pierce, and his close ideological partner, Sen. Bob Worsley have worked over the years to protect corporate control of the media industry, the educational industry among others. Their protectionist opposition is legendary in political circles.
Pierce saw himself landing in the Governor’s executive tower, but his towering ego won him few friends with the Republican grassroots.
While he was born into a wealthy northern Arizona ranching family, Pierce did not understand the needs of rural residents and did little on behalf of the ranching community.
Pierce will not be missed and his superior air and condescending manner will not be forgotten.