Thursday, May 5, 2011
I was so hopeful, thinking that she was term-limited by serving out Napolitano's term, but apparently Jan Brewer is floating the idea of running again, claiming that the two term provision of the Arizona Constitution is referring to a term as four full years:
Brewer, a Republican, floated the possibility Wednesday, saying there is "ambiguity" in the portion of Arizona's Constitution that addresses term limits.
"There's questions about that, you know," Brewer said. "The Constitution is not really clear. It's never been challenged."
Prevailing theory has been that Brewer is term-limited and ineligible to run for governor again because she filled out the remaining two years of her predecessor's term.
Brewer, a Republican who was Secretary of State, assumed the office in January 2009 after Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano resigned to join President Barack Obama's Cabinet. Brewer was elected to a four-year term in November.
Arizona law permits statewide elected officials to serve only two consecutive terms. Article 5, Section 1 of the Arizona Constitution states that, "No member of the executive department, after serving the maximum number of terms, which shall include any part of a term served, may serve in the office until out of office for no less than one full term."
But Matthew Benson, the governor's spokesman, says the state's Constitution also defines a term as being four years.
Benson said a "strong argument" could be made that the Constitution was written to prevent a scenario in which a popular governor resigned the office within a week or two of finishing out his or her second term and then claimed they were eligible to run again.
"They just don't seem to have considered a situation where there is a successor, as Gov. Brewer is," Benson said.