Jan Brewer: Third Term Not Out Of The Question

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer waves to the crowd as she is introduced to speak about the new Arizona statehood stamp unveiled durin
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer waves to the crowd as she is introduced to speak about the new Arizona statehood stamp unveiled during the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Arizona's statehood Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012, in Phoenix.(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona GOP Gov. Jan Brewer's second and final term -- at least according to the state constitution -- is set to come to an end in 2014. But now, as she stands as one of the more controversial Republican governors in the nation, rumblings about her taking steps to challenge the law and run for an unprecedented third term are growing louder.

Brewer has been asked about the prospect and repeatedly suggested that she's open to the possibility.

"I haven't ruled anything out," Brewer said on Wednesday, according to Bloomberg. "I'm doing my job as governor. I have two more years."

Her governorship began in 2009 as a replacement to then-Gov. Janet Napolitano, who was departing to serve as President Barack Obama's Secretary of Homeland Security. In 2010, Brewer was reelected to a full term.

While an amendment to the state constitution, approved by voters in 1992, explicitly states that partial terms served are to be counted toward limits, some observers are arguing that the law is more ambiguous than first thought.

Joseph Kanefield, Brewer's former general counsel, wrote an op-ed in the Arizona Republic last month claiming that the constitution doesn't apply in cases in which governors inherit the position through succession. Others called that notion "delusional."

If Brewer were to seek a third term, it could put Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett (R), the governor's second-in-command and the person in charge of processing election documents, in an awkward spot.

Asked about the question, Bennett, who has expressed some interest in a gubernatorial run in the past, appeared unsure.

"Would I accept paperwork from someone who wasn't qualified to hold office in Arizona?" Bennett told the Arizona Republic this week. "I've never had to make the decision."

While Arizonans mull the legality of a potential 2014 run by Brewer, it appears that the governor is already laying down the groundwork for a future political endeavor.

Politico reported Dec. 3 that Brewer had met with GOP mega-donor Sheldon Adelson in Las Vegas earlier this year. The latest campaign finance filings for her super PAC showed that the billionaire hotelier and his wife, Miriam, gave a combined $250,000 to Brewer's Jan PAC, more than a quarter of the total money raised by the group in 2012. Howard Fischer of Arizona's Capitol Media Services reports that her spending habits suggest she might be stashing some of that cash away in order to fund her own electoral ambitions.



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