Governor Jan Brewer, who left Arizona for an undisclosed destination Dec. 2, is visiting soldiers from her state in Afghanistan, according to a person familiar with the governor’s schedule.
The Republican’s absence was noticed Dec. 3 when she didn’t attend the state’s official certification of the November election results. Brewer’s office filed a routine notice with Secretary of State Ken Bennett that she would be gone until Dec. 8, leaving him as acting governor, according to Matt Roberts, a spokesman for the secretary.
The governor is away “on official business,” Matthew Benson, Brewer’s spokesman, said yesterday in a telephone interview. “That’s all I can disclose at this time.”
More than 9,000 Arizona Army and Air National Guard members have been ordered to active duty since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to the guard’s website. The person with knowledge of the governor’s schedule wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.
The lack of information led reporters from organizations including ABC News and the Huffington Post to question the whereabouts of the 68-year-old governor.
Brewer came to national prominence for signing a 2010 immigration law that led to boycotts and a federal court battle. The measure resulted in a high-profile fight with the Obama administration that ended before the U.S. Supreme Court, which struck down much of the law.
Last week, the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit over Brewer’s decision this summer to deny driver’s licenses to young illegal immigrants allowed to avoid deportation under a new federal program.
The Arizona Republic reported that Brewer met Dec. 3 with a wounded soldier at a hospital in Washington.
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