Jan Brewer

Governor Jan Brewer's Spokesman Explains the Arizona Constitution Shouldn't Apply to Her in Running for Third Term

While Governor Jan Brewer is pretty sure she can run for a third term (which she can't), her camp is already cooking up some wild explanations to let it happen.

Brewer's spokesman Matthew Benson tells New Times that folks inside the governor's office believe that the law stopping her from running for another term wasn't actually meant to do that.

He says the Arizona Constitution's section about term limits may not apply to Brewer because she came into the position in the middle of a four-year term when then-Governor Janet Napolitano left the post to become the director of Homeland Security.

Let us reiterate the law -- Arizona Constitution Article 5 Section 1 -- 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."

That's the Arizona Constitution saying you cannot serve more than two consecutive terms as governor, "which shall include any part of a term served."

Benson says while this is true, he still thinks the law may not apply to Brewer, and came up with a wild scenario he says was the likely intent of the law.

He says if the secretary of state (the next in line to become governor) were to defeat the standing governor in a gubernatorial election, and the two were of opposite parties, the current governor could resign with a week left in his or her term.

That would promote the secretary of state -- the new governor-elect -- into the spot as governor, and would start their second term a week later.

Since this has never happened -- ever -- it seems more like Brewer thinks the rules just don't apply to her.

Benson's other argument for the governor is that he claims a term is defined as four years in the Constitution, but later in the same section mentions parts of terms, which becomes "unclear."

Benson reiterates that Brewer hasn't made any determination in running for another term -- which again, she can't -- but it's just "this point she's raising."

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley

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