Jan Brewer

Jan Brewer Threatens to Run for a Likely Unconstitutional Third Term (Again)

Just over a year after stating she could probably run for a third term as governor if she wanted to, Governor Jan Brewer did it again.

Again, Brewer and her staff point to the section of the Arizona Constitution intended to prevent governors from getting a third term to justify the ability of Brewer to run for a third term.

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.

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."

It would seem that the whole "any part of a term served" thing kind of ruins Brewer's theory.

Brewer's comments were made to the Arizona Republic this weekend, and essentially rehash the same theory she dropped in May of last year.

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."

The Legislative Council also spelled it out as "a maximum of two consecutive terms, which is eight years" in the analysis, just in case anyone got confused about it, since Brewer can't get elected for a term of just a couple more years.

Her spokesman Matthew Benson told us last year one of his theories of the law's intent was to prevent politicking by a governor resigning with a few days left in the term if that governor lost to the Secretary of State in an election. Since the Secretary of State is next in line for governor, that person would take over the days left in the term left over from the dick move by the resigning governor.

According to the "any part of a term served" line in the Constitution, it sounds like that would apply to any part, like one day, two years, or four years.

If there were no such thing as "part of a term," it probably wouldn't be in the Constitution.