(CNN) - The state senator who wrote Arizona's controversial immigration law lost to a charter school superintendent on Tuesday night in a recall election widely seen as a referendum on tough measures against illegal immigrants.
"I want to thank those people who have stood by me," said Russell Pearce, who represented a suburban Phoenix district. "It doesn't look like the numbers are going my direction ... and I'm OK with that."
The recall petition pitted Pearce against fellow Republican Jerry Lewis. Lewis led with 53.4% of the vote with all precincts reporting while Pearce got 45.3%.