Rather than engage in a long-shot bid to challenge the state constitution's provision limiting governors to serving no more than two terms, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer announced Wednesday morning that she will retire from elected office upon the completion of her current term.
"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 announced. "While I will no longer be governor after this year, I will remain a proud cheerleader and champion for this state that I love so dearly."
Brewer spoke before an audience at Park Meadows Elementary in Glendale, Ariz., where she first became interested in state politics after attending a school board meeting in the school cafeteria. "Park Meadows is where I developed a passion for education and started a journey in public service," Brewer said.
While Brewer put to rest any talk of serving another term as Arizona's top politician, she vowed to still work diligently throughout the remainder of her term. "My pen and veto stamp have plenty of ink," she said.
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 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.
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.