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Jan Brewer 2016: 8 Facts About Political Background of GOP Presidential Hopeful

By    |   Friday, 02 Jan 2015 09:57 PM

Jan Brewer has moved steadily from one political office to another since 1983. And as the polarizing leader gets ready to hand over Arizona’s governorship, having termed out this year, it looks as though Brewer’s next target might be a bid for the presidency in 2016.

Here are eight details about Brewer’s political background.

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1. Brewer first became interested in running for office in 1981 after attending a school board meeting in her children’s district. She skipped right over the school board, however, winning a seat in Arizona’s House of Representatives for one of the state’s newly formed legislative districts in 1983.

2. In 1987, Brewer was elected to the state Senate. She rose to the position of majority whip, helping to pass legislation aimed at supporting tax relief, budget reform, and charter schools.

3. When she left the Senate in 1996, Brewer won a seat on the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. The massive county was on the brink of bankruptcy, relying on $165 million in short-term borrowing. By the time Brewer left in 2002, the county was on solid footing.

4. Next, Brewer made a bid for secretary of state, narrowly winning her seat in 2002 on a platform that included a strong pro-life stance. Brewer was re-elected in 2006, tackling the state’s budget deficit, federal election reform, and a measure that allowed members of the military to vote while serving overseas.

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5.
In 2009, President Barack Obama appointed Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano as secretary of Homeland Security. Napolitano resigned as governor, leaving Brewer next in line for the governor’s seat. She kept the seat after winning the 2010 election.

6.
Soon after becoming governor, Brewer sparked controversy by proposing a tax hike to address the state’s massive deficit. She’d pledged to keep taxes low — a move that angered many Republicans. Others, however, applauded Brewer for making the decision that was unpopular but necessary.

7. Immigration issues have been at the center of Brewer’s governorship. In 2010, she signed into the law the nation’s most aggressive anti-illegal immigration bill, requiring immigrants to carry documents showing their status and broadening authority for police to stop anyone suspected of being in the state illegally. Brewer has also dedicated significant funding to border security and fought against allowing drivers licenses for immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children, though a federal court recently overturned that law.

8. Brewer has been staunchly conservative on many issues, drawing ire from Democrats and independents as an outspoken supporter of gun rights and advocate of voter IDs. She’s also drawn criticism from some Republicans for supporting Medicaid expansion and vetoing a bill that allowed business owners to refuse service for gay customers. Some experts predict such moves make her too polarizing to become the GOP candidate for the presidency in 2016, with no announcement yet on her decision.

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Jan Brewer has moved steadily from one political office to another since 1983. And as the polarizing leader gets ready to hand over Arizona’s governorship, having termed out this year, it looks as though Brewer’s next target might be a bid for the presidency in 2016.
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