Arizona shopping center exec falls in Senate bid.
One Democrat who was not celebrating on November 8 was Arizona shopping center developer Jim Pederson. Pederson, former Democratic state chairman, used a chunk of his personal fortune in an unsuccessful effort to unseat Senator Jon Kyl in the most expensive race in Arizona history.
The two-term Republican incumbent got 52 percent of the votes, Pederson fnished with 44 percent and Libertarian Richard Mack received 3 percent.
Pederson, who is founder and chairman of the Phoenix-based Pederson Group, spent an estimated $10 million out of his own pocket. The total tab for all three candidates was $25 million, spent primarily on TV ads.
Pederson, 64, trailed Kyl throughout the campaign, challenging the two-term senator on issues ranging from stem-cell research and abortion to his support of President Bush and the war in Iraq.
Pederson started in commercial real estate development working for the Grossman Company and then Phoenix-based Westcor. There he rose to manager for all of Westcor's shopping centers.
In 1983, Pederson formed his own company, developing Goodyear Village Center in Goodyear, Ariz. The company owns 25 shopping centers among its developments throughout Arizona. They include Bell Tower Village, Mesa Shores and Tempe Square.
Among those Pederson's most proud of is a Target-anchored shopping center in south Phoenix. In published reports, he claims, the economic turnaround of a once blighted community was worth giving Target control of the land in exchange for opening a store there.