Janice Kay "Jan" Brewer (September 26, 1944) is the 22nd and current Governor of the U.S. state of Arizona and a member of the Republican Party. She is the fourth woman, and third consecutive woman, to hold the office. Brewer previously served as Secretary of State of Arizona, from January 2003 until then-Governor Janet Napolitano resigned after being selected as Secretary of Homeland Security in January 2009. Brewer became Governor of Arizona as part of the line of succession, as determined by the Arizona constitution. Born in California, Brewer is a graduate of Glendale Community College. She has served as a State Senator and State Representative for Arizona, from 1983 to 1996. Brewer also served as Chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, before running for Arizona Secretary of State in 2002. Brewer came into the national spotlight when, on April 23, 2010, she signed the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act. The act makes it a state misdemeanor crime for an alien to be in Arizona without carrying registration documents required by federal law, authorizes state and local law enforcement of federal immigration laws, and cracks down on those sheltering, hiring and transporting illegal aliens. Brewer sought a full term as Governor of Arizona in the 2010 Arizona gubernatorial election, and was elected on November 3, 2010, winning with 55% of the vote over Democrat Terry Goddard's 42%.
Governor of Arizona
As Secretary of State, Brewer was the first in line to succeed then-Governor Janet Napolitano, after Napolitano was selected by President Barack Obama to serve as the Secretary of Homeland Security of the United States in the United States Cabinet. Brewer was then sworn in as Governor, despite her earlier quarrels with the line of succession while serving in the State Senate, after Napolitano resigned from her position on January 21, 2009. She is Arizona's fourth female governor and its third consecutive female governor.
In her inaugural address, Brewer promised to keep taxes low in Arizona, in an attempt to attract business from other states, including California.
Fewer than two months into her term, however, Brewer proposed a tax increase in front of the State Legislature, causing two Republican members to walk out of the address mid-speech. Attempting to rationalize the tax increase, Brewer stated that she was ultimately forced to ask for the increase due to the state's $4 billion state budget deficit.
On April 23, 2010, Brewer signed the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act, otherwise known as Arizona SB1070, into law, making it "a state crime for illegal immigrants to not have an alien registration document," and requiring police "to question people about their immigration status if there is reason." It also makes it illegal for people to hire illegal immigrants for day labor or to knowingly transport them. In addition, it provides provisions to allow citizens to file lawsuits against government agencies that hinder enforcement of immigration laws.A follow-on bill, said to address certain "racial profiling" issues with the original bill, was passed by the Arizona legislature just before ending their 2010 session, and was signed by Brewer on April 30, 2010.Signing of the bill has led to massive demonstrations in Arizona, Washington, D.C. and many other cities across the United States, both for and against the legislation.
On August 24, 2010, Brewer won the Republican primary, to face Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard in the general election. Brewer was elected in her own right on November 2, 2010, to the office of Governor in the state's 2010 gubernatorial election, earning 55% of the states votes over Democrat Terry Goddard with 42%.
This was not unexpected, as polling conducted after Brewer's signing of Arizona SB1070 had shown her as an early favorite in the general election.
Brewer will not be able to run for a second full term in 2014; the Arizona Constitution limits governors to a total of eight consecutive years in office.
Brewer attended Glendale Community College in Glendale, Arizona, receiving a radiological technologist certification. Brewer and her husband have had three sons, one of whom died of cancer in 2007. One of her sons was declared criminally insane for the 1989 rape of a Phoenix woman. He has served 20 years in the Arizona Mental Hospital.