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Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer Will Not Seek Another Term

Republican Jan Brewer, after being sworn in as the twenty-second governor of Arizona, addresses those gathered during inauguration ceremonies on Jan. 21, 2009, in Phoenix.
Ross D. Franklin
Republican Jan Brewer, after being sworn in as the twenty-second governor of Arizona, addresses those gathered during inauguration ceremonies on Jan. 21, 2009, in Phoenix.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, whose tenure has been marked by controversial decisions on immigration policy and a contentious relationship with the White House, says she will not seek another term in office.

As The Arizona Republic explains, to run for a second full term, the Republican would have had to mount a legal challenge to the state's term limits. In 2009, as dictated by the line of succession in the Arizona Constitution, Brewer, then secretary of state, completed the final year of Democrat Janet Napolitano's term. Napolitano left office to become President Obama's homeland security secretary.

Brewer won re-election in 2010. The Republic adds:

"Brewer made the announcement on her home turf, at Park Meadows Elementary School in Glendale, at an event attended by students and current and former Brewer staffers. A banner hanging behind the podium read 'Champion of the Arizona Comeback.'

"'I'm saddened to be leaving this post next year but I'm proud of the remarkable progress we've made for the state,' Brewer said, adding that being governor has been her 'proudest role.'

"'I will continue to champion and cheer Arizona from the sidelines,' she said."

Nationally, Brewer will be remembered for championing a law that asked police to check the immigration status of those stopped for another violation. The Obama administration argued that the law usurped the responsibilities of the federal government.

Brewer took the fight all the way to the Supreme Court, which in 2012 sided with Obama administration when it struck down a key part of the law.

That decision was preceded by a tense confrontation with President Obama on the tarmac of the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.

Brewer said Obama confronted her over how she described a 2010 meeting in her book Scorpions for Breakfast. Brewer wrote that during that 2010 meeting Obama lectured her on immigration.

When they met on the tarmac in 2012, there were fireworks that culminated with an AP photograph of Brewer pointing at Obama in an animated manner.

More recently, the Republican stalwart surprised many by vetoing a bill that "would have allowed business owners in her state to refuse to serve gays and others if those customers somehow offended the proprietors' religious beliefs."

Update at 3:14 p.m. ET. So, Who's Running?

The Washington Post reports on who is vying for Brewer's spot:

"Several Republicans have already lined up to run for Brewer's seat including Secretary of State Ken Bennett and state Treasurer Doug Ducey. Democrat Fred DuVal has the inside track on other side. Republicans are favored to hold the seat given Arizona's conservative tilt."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.
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