Brewer To Retire At End Of Term

Published: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 11:02am
Updated: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 2:13pm

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer announced she will retire from elected office when her current term ends. She made the announcement Wednesday morning at an elementary school in Glendale with her husband and one of her sons alongside her.

“There does come a time to pass the torch of leadership. So after completing this term in office I will be doing just that," Brewer said.

Brewer ended months of speculation about whether she might challenge a provision of the Arizona Constitution that limits officeholders to two terms in office. Brewer completed the term of former Gov. Janet Napolitano when she took a job in the Obama administration in 2009, then won a full term in 2010.

Legal experts say it would have been a long shot to challenge the constitution and run again.

Brewer, 69, made the announcement at Park Meadows Elementary School, which she said was the same school that inspired her to enter politics. During her speech she boasted of her accomplishments on issues such as education and the economy.

Although her term ends this year, she said there is plenty of work to do between now and then.

“I can assure you that I’m not going anywhere anytime soon. I will work until my final hours completing the people’s business on behalf of the great state. Both my pen and my veto stamp have plenty of ink," she said.

Brewer said she is still working to reform Child Protective Services and pass a budget for the upcoming fiscal year. 

Several other Republicans have entered the primary race for governor under the assumption Brewer wouldn't run again. They include Arizona State Treasurer and former Cold Stone Creamery CEO Doug Ducey, Secretary of State Ken Bennett, Mesa Mayor Scott Smith, former GoDaddy legal counsel Christine Jones, state Sen. Al Melvin and former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas.

Brewer has been in the national spotlight on several occasions in her five years in office.

She signed the immigration crackdown law known as Senate Bill 1070 in 2010 and sparred with the Obama administration over health care. Last month, Brewer vetoed legislation that opponents said would have allowed businesses to discriminate against gays and that the business community rallied against.

Brewer is known for her conservative views but has also riled her more hard-line base. She surprised many by embracing a key part of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul law — an expansion of Medicaid. After a battle with Republicans who control the Legislature, she cobbled together a coalition of Democrats and a handful of Republicans and got the measure adopted. About 300,000 more Arizonans are now eligible to sign up for the free health insurance plan for low-income residents.

Updated 3/12/2014 at 2:11 p.m.

The Associated Press and KJZZ's Alexandra Olgin contributed to this story.

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