March 12th, 2014
02:13 PM ET
5 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. phoenix traveler

    Conservative Sheriff Arpaio will take her place and allow christian business in AZ to delete homosexuals.

    March 12, 2014 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  2. Potion4

    She knew based on her vote that she wouldn't get re-elected

    March 12, 2014 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  3. rob0rah

    Not good news. Lets hope a democrat doesnt get into office or AZ will turn into another California!

    March 12, 2014 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  4. noteasilyswayed

    At least she vetoed that stupid discriminatory bill involving denial of services to same gender couples. Pretty good for a backwards state.

    March 12, 2014 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  5. phoenix

    Sheriff Joe Arpaio would be excellent to say the least and knows what needs to be done.

    March 12, 2014 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  6. punished

    She veto'd the bill against gays. She would lose anyway. I would imagine she took a pounding from her base in the last week or so.

    March 12, 2014 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  7. Larry L

    @NevadaJimbo

    "Always gives me a chuckle when people post an opinion about a governor while living in another state."
    -------------
    Arizona's radical and right-wing position on many issues bring attention at the National-level. Additionally, Brewer played hard in the national spotlight and her shrew-like behavior made good copy for the media.

    March 12, 2014 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  8. Diane Castellanos

    Best news I've heard in a long time! Hopefully, the next one won't be an embarassment to Arizona.

    March 12, 2014 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  9. Donna

    NudeTruth
    Great Gov. Brewer is she will be missed. I hope Joe Arpaio is the next Gov
    --

    100% agree! If he announces a check goes in the mail the same day. America needs many more of him, beleivers in enforcing our laws.

    March 12, 2014 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  10. Ric

    Time to tee up Sheriff Joe. We can only hope.

    March 12, 2014 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  11. ART

    Good bye Jan Bruja, you will not be missed

    March 12, 2014 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  12. Adam Smith

    I don't understand why people are so against McCain. We need more moderate Republicans like Brewer and McCain, not fewer of them. Otherwise, you will end up with people like Cantor, Palin, and Rand Paul, which is a lot worse.

    March 12, 2014 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  13. angeson

    Dont let the door hit ya on that but ugly mug on the way out

    March 12, 2014 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  14. idb

    She did a fine job, much better than her predecessor. It will be hard to replace her.

    March 12, 2014 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  15. No Tea Please

    The Governor plans to pick-up her former hobby of restoring old cars. It's rumored she will get a face-lift and use the leftover skin to replace the upholstery in a vintage Rolls Royce.

    March 12, 2014 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  16. Jackson

    patw2100

    Good, one less liberal RINO working to destroy America.

    _____________

    Now you can replace her with a conservative who extolls the virtues of family values and then goes spends the night with his mistress.

    Or better yet, one who wants to force women to carry to term, and, when that woman can't afford to take care of it, will turn around and have zero desire to provide any assistance for her child that you legislated had to be born.

    Or even better, one of those cherry pickers who loves to throw only a select few bible verses around, while completely ignoring any and all verses that they don't feel are "relevant", as if you have a choice.

    Yeah, that's going to be much better for this country, isn't it?

    March 12, 2014 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  17. KidKid

    WIth a face like hers, she shouldn't be allowed out in public. Ban her face!

    March 12, 2014 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  18. Sylvia

    Thanks God! She is an nasty woman picking on minorities and inmigrants. Who wants her?

    March 12, 2014 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  19. angeson

    Please dont let the door hit ya on that but ugly mug on the way out

    March 12, 2014 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  20. Ally B

    It will be a shoo-in for Governor Palin, she has expensive property in the state, her offspring go to beauty school there, and she apparently qualifies to run in Arizona. McCain owes her a big one because she helped get him elected in his last race, and she supported Flake. she has done her homework, now is the time to call in the support.

    March 12, 2014 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  21. carlos

    She turned Arizona into a joke.

    March 12, 2014 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  22. sly

    Didn't Arizona seceed from the Union? I didn't realize that hill billie state still existed. Don't let the barn door hit you on the way out.

    March 12, 2014 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  23. wrathfuldiety

    Steven Seagal has been working as a Maricopa Cty Deputy there for awhile and he's also been talking about running for Arizona governor. Maybe he'll go for it. Look out evildoers!

    "You guys think you're above the law. Well you ain't above mine!"

    March 12, 2014 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  24. Miguel

    Arpaio for Gov!

    March 12, 2014 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  25. ShawnDH

    Donna agrees! "100% agree! If he announces a check goes in the mail the same day. America needs many more of him, beleivers in enforcing our laws."
    ______________

    Yes, what America needs are more disgusting and evil right-wing psychopaths as governors. It's as clear as day!

    March 12, 2014 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
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