So Long, Janet? Let the Speculation Begin

Everywhere from Facebook to corporate boardrooms across town, speculation about what will happen with now-Governor Janet Napolitano — and when — is fast and furious.

Here's some early-morning water cooler talk:

The money is on Napolitano taking the dog of a job (who's going to succeed in that position?!) and getting the hell out of AZ. So what would happen to her political appointees? On the top of the pile on the chopping block is Steve Owens (pictured at right), head of the state Department of Environmental Quality and longtime lib.

Dennis Burke, Napolitano's former chief of staff, is being talked about as a possibility for U.S. Attorney, but given his experience working on Capitol Hill and for Janet Reno, he'd be a good bet to accompany Napolitano to D.C. in her new gig.

In any case, the theory is that Napolitano won't abandon the state (er, resign from her position) 'til right around the inauguration, leaving time for her successor, Secretary of State Jan Brewer, to get cooking.

Line of the day — so far: Jan Brewer makes Jane Dee Hull look like Janet Napolitano.— Amy Silverman

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Amy Silverman is a two-time winner of the Arizona Press Club’s Journalist of the Year award. Her work has appeared on the radio show This American Life and in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Lenny Letter, and Brain, Child. She’s the co-curator of the live reading series Bar Flies, and a commentator for KJZZ, the NPR affiliate in Phoenix. Silverman is the author of the book My Heart Can’t Even Believe It: A Story of Science, Love, and Down Syndrome (Woodbine House 2016). Follow her on Instagram (@amysilverman), Twitter (@amysilvermanaz), and at