Arizona’s Jan Brewer Won’t Seek Another Term as Governor

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer said she won’t seek a constitutional change that would allow her to run for a third term.

Brewer, a 69-year-old Republican, is limited by law to her current second term. She ended speculation about whether she might seek to change the Arizona constitution to run for four more years with an announcement on Twitter.

“While I will no longer be governor after this year, I will remain a proud cheerleader and champion for this awesome state that I love,” Brewer said. “Serving as governor of AZ has been the privilege and pleasure of my life.”

Brewer was appointed to the state’s top job in January 2009 after former governor Janet Napolitano became U.S. secretary of Homeland Security. The state’s securities have earned about 40 percent since the month she took office, about the same as the rest of the $3.7 trillion municipal bond market, according to the S&P Dow Jones Indices.

Since she won re-election in 2010, Brewer has often made national headlines, most recently when she vetoed a bill last month that would have allowed business owners in Arizona to refuse to serve customers based on their own religious beliefs. Opponents said the measure would have allowed discrimination against gays.

The legislation prompted tourists to cancel reservations and companies to say they would locate elsewhere if it became law. Opponents said it threatened to reverse the economic recovery in a state among those hardest-hit by the housing crash and cement a reputation fostered by a 2010 anti-immigration law, as well as a fight in the 1990s over celebrating the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

Immigration Controversy

Brewer signed the nation’s strictest immigration law in 2010. She defended the law, which drew boycotts and was mimicked by other states, before it was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court. The title of her 2011 book, “Scorpions for Breakfast,” came from commentary on her tough-as-nails reputation.

Since she took office in 2009, Arizona has become a testing ground for Republican ideas on immigration, health care and gun rights.

The governor ranks among her biggest accomplishments turning the state around fiscally. When she took office, the state was facing a $3 billion deficit for the coming fiscal year, according to reports from the Joint Legislative Budget Committee. Arizona ended fiscal 2012 with a $397 million surplus.

Of Arizona’s last nine governors, three have resigned, one was removed through impeachment and one died in office. No Arizona governor since John “One-Eyed Jack” Williams, who served from 1967 to 1975 and wore glasses with one frosted lens to conceal an empty right socket, has served two complete terms and entered and left office in the traditional fashion.

Brewer weighed a bid for four more years in office even though a voter-approved 1992 constitutional amendment limits the state’s top officials to two consecutive terms, including “any part” of one served.

Arizona ranked 33rd in economic health since Brewer took office, according to the Bloomberg Economic Evaluation of States.

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