Jan Brewer Becomes Arizona's Governor; Pledges "Freedom" From Tax and Regulatory Burdens

Jan Brewer took her oath of office as governor of Arizona today, completing the transfer of power required after Janet Napolitano left the state to become secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Here's a shot of her accepting a Native American blessing on stage just prior to officially taking the reins.

Brewer gave a short speech following her swearing-in before a packed crowd on the State Capitol lawn, referencing the state's fiscal woes and saying she felt sort of like she just got to a party where all the guests are gone -- but someone is handing her the bill.

"Our government is going to get a lot smaller," Brewer said to enthusiastic applause from the crowd, which included former governors Jane Hull, Fife Symington and Rose Mofford (left).

She and lawmakers are planning Arizona's own version of a stimulus package called "freedom," she said. The state's economy will bounce back when residents and business owners of California "hear the music" of Arizona's lesser tax burdens and government regulation, she said.

"Soon, we'll be living our finest days," Brewer said.

Nothing like a newly seated politician to make you feel good. Now the work begins...

See more of Governor Jan Brewer's inauguration address:

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.