March 12th, 2014
02:13 PM ET
7 months ago

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer won't seek reelection

Updated 3:06 p.m. ET, 3/12/2014

(CNN) – Republican Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona announced Wednesday she will not run for reelection.

"There does come a time to pass the torch of leadership," she said at a school in Glendale. "After completing this term in office, I will be doing just that."

Her announcement comes amid questions about whether she could legally seek another four years in office.

As Arizona secretary of state in 2009, Brewer automatically succeeded Janet Napolitano as governor when the Democrat became President Barack Obama's homeland security secretary. Arizona is one of a few states without a lieutenant governor.

Brewer sought and won a full term in 2010 and hadn't ruled out trying again.

But Arizona law dictates that a governor can't run for more than two consecutive terms, and a partial term is counted as a full term. In other words, Brewer's time in office before she was elected in 2010 would count as a full four-year term.

However, Joseph Kanefield, Brewer's former general counsel, argued in a 2012 opinion piece for the Arizona Republic that the governor could still legally run for another term because the state's law was "intended to apply only to an elected or appointed partial term rather than one in which a governor inherits the office by constitutional succession," as in Brewer's case with Napolitano in 2009.

Though she's not running for reelection, Brewer vowed to "work until my final hours, completing the people's business."

"Both my pen and my veto stamp have plenty of ink," she said.

The governor made headlines last month when she vetoed a bill that passed the Republican-controlled state legislature and would have allowed businesses that asserted their religious beliefs the right to deny service to gay and lesbian customers.

Perhaps her most famous move in office was the 2010 signing of a law that requires immigrants to carry their alien registration documents at all times and requires police to question people if there is reason to suspect that they're in the United States illegally.

Critics fiercely fought the law and the case made its way to the Supreme Court. While the high court in 2012 struck down key parts of the Arizona statute, the justices let stand the controversial provision allowing police to check a person's immigration status wile enforcing other laws.

The immigration law helped cement Brewer’s reputation on the national level as a conservative firebrand.

The issue also became a point of contention between the Arizona governor and President Barack Obama. At one point in 2012, the two had a now-famous confrontational encounter when Brewer greeted Obama on the tarmac at an airport during his visit to the state.

At her announcement Wednesday, Brewer pledged to “remain a proud cheerleader and champion" for Arizona.

"Serving as governor has been the privilege and pleasure of my life," she said. "It's been a challenge of the most rewarding kind. Standing before you today is truly bittersweet."

A number of Republicans, including Secretary of State Ken Bennett, state Treasurer Doug Ducey, and Mesa Mayor Scott Smith, had already announced bids for the GOP gubernatorial nomination well before Brewer's Wednesday announcement.


Filed under: Arizona • Jan Brewer
soundoff (213 Responses)
  1. rc roeder

    break out the champagne

    March 12, 2014 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  2. OldSchool

    An acknowledgement that not even you are fringe enough for your increasingly fringe, bigoted party Mrs. Brewer?

    March 12, 2014 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  3. ChrisM

    Now maybe Arizona will elect someone that can govern.

    March 12, 2014 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  4. Jon

    Good. Good-bye.

    March 12, 2014 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  5. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    Thank Jeebus.

    March 12, 2014 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  6. sonofanimmigrant

    Good riddance!

    March 12, 2014 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  7. Terry

    I always worried some illegal would kill her. It can't have been easy trying to protect citizens with so many anti American/pro illegal factions constantly at her.

    March 12, 2014 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  8. Bill

    Time to go......bye bye...

    March 12, 2014 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  9. Dave

    Hopefully whoever succeeds her will continue her fine work.

    March 12, 2014 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  10. Jim Brody

    Meets my approval.

    March 12, 2014 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  11. Tony D

    Ahhh, too bad. She is a great Governor. Anybody that sticks a finger in Obama's face and chews him out has my vote.

    March 12, 2014 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  12. Mark

    Please take Scott Walker with you.

    March 12, 2014 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  13. Hahaha

    Take your sheriff with you!

    March 12, 2014 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  14. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House

    She's probably going to run for President. I've heard that lame line of " time to pass the torch of leadership" from some other teatard. If she thinks just because she vetoed 1062 that she's ready for higher office, she's highly mistaken. I bet if 1062 didn't get the national spotlight shined on it, she probably would have signed it. Anyway, she wouldn't win a republican primary because she accepted Obamacare Medicaid funding, so she can really kiss any higher office ambitions goodbye.

    March 12, 2014 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  15. Jay

    Good Riddance!!!

    March 12, 2014 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  16. Clyde

    Wonderful! Hopefully she'll go back to the snakes nest from whence she came.

    March 12, 2014 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  17. 2L

    Best news I've heard all day!!

    March 12, 2014 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  18. Rick Deckard

    Can't imagine there's a person on the planet unhappy about that announcement.

    March 12, 2014 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  19. Matt

    Logic seems to be coming back into fashion.

    March 12, 2014 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  20. king

    i guest brewer can tell the tea partiers to go mmm themselves and start doing the right thing for the country. these other folks that running on the repub side dont have that luxury. i said it the dems should give up on obamacare and go back to the status quo, because if these people are so backward to think that repubs will replace obamacare with something even similar, need to go splash water on their collected faces and wake up. corporations you can take over from here.

    March 12, 2014 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  21. savblade

    going down in flames of shame.....

    March 12, 2014 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  22. Pilgrim1

    Can't understand why?? ;-)

    March 12, 2014 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  23. patw2100

    Good, one less liberal RINO working to destroy America.

    March 12, 2014 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  24. Pilgrim2

    Can't understand why? ;-)

    March 12, 2014 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  25. Rick Deckard

    Here's an idea. Give people a public platform, tell them, please, share you opinion. Then when they do, say, no, just kidding. Filed under: Ways to become the most annoying and hated news outlet on the planet.

    March 12, 2014 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
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