Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, a Republican who has clashed with the Obama administration over immigration, said on Wednesday she would not run for re-election for a third term, ending speculation about her plans.
Arizona governors are limited to serving two terms at the state's helm. But as Brewer had taken over mid-term from Janet Napolitano, who left to head the Department of Homeland Security, there had been speculation she could seek another four years in office on the grounds she had not served two complete terms.
Brewer, 69, in announcing her decision at a school in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale, said she felt it was time to "pass the torch of leadership."
"So, after completing this term in office, I will be doing just that," she said. Her decision means she will not seek re-election in November and will leave office in the New Year.
The controversial governor was thrust into the national spotlight in April 2010 when she signed into law a bill to crack down on illegal immigration in the southwestern U.S. state that shares a border with Mexico. The law was later partially struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.
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Brewer's conflicts with President Barack Obama gained heightened attention in 2012 when she greeted him at the airport during a Phoenix visit and was seen wagging her finger at the president.
The staunch Republican has at times gone against conservative elements in her party in recent years, with the biggest clash coming last year when she signed a law to expand Medicaid as part of Obama's signature domestic achievement, the Affordable Care Act.
Under mounting pressure from business and gay rights groups, Brewer also vetoed a measure last month that would have allowed business owners to use their religious beliefs as grounds for refusing to serve gay couples and others.
John McCain, the senior senator from Arizona thanked Brewer for her years of service. "First entering public service as a mother concerned about the workings of her local school board, Gov. Brewer has served with distinction at every level of state and local government over the last three decades," he said in a statement.
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