Jan Brewer

Governor Jan Brewer's Pretty Sure She Can Run for Third Term -- All She Has to Do is Ignore Arizona Constitution

Governor Jan Brewer is trying to weasel her way into a third term as governor by calling the Arizona term-limit law "ambiguous."

Brewer is convinced that she can legally be governor for another term, even though the Arizona Constitution says she cannot.

The governor seems to think that since she took over for former Governor Janet Napolitano two years into a four-year term, it doesn't count against her -- which simply isn't true.

Here's exactly what the Arizona Constitution says about term limits, in Article 5, Section 1, which was amended as approved by the voters as Proposition 107 in 1992:

"No member of the executive department shall hold that office for more than two consecutive terms. This limitation on the number of terms of consecutive service shall apply to terms of office beginning on or after January 1, 1993. 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 same office until out of office for no less than one full term."

So that whole "any part of a term served" thing kind of ruins Brewer's theory.

Apparently it's still very unclear to the governor, who's still pretty certain "any part of any term" really only means an entire term.

"There's questions about that, you know," Brewer told the Arizona Republic. "The Constitution is not really clear. It's never been challenged."

The state's Legislative Council analyzed the term-limit proposition in 1992 -- it seemed pretty clear in its eyes: "Service for any portion of a term would count as service for a full term."

Brewer's spokesman Matthew Benson told reporters that when the law was written, its writers probably never considered a situation such as Brewer coming in mid-term.

Umm, when it's as specific as "any part of a term served," it seems Brewer's is exactly the type of situation the writers of the Constitution were considering when they wrote the law.

But, hey, what's the point of having a state constitution if the governor's just going to make it up as she goes along?

Brewer told reporters she's not quite committed to running for a third consecutive term -- which is probably a good thing considering, ya know, she can't.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley

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