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Jan Brewer 2016: 7 Facts About Personal Life of GOP Presidential Hopeful

By    |   Wednesday, 07 January 2015 08:16 PM

After leading the state of Arizona for five years as governor, Jan Brewer now can turn her attention to a possible 2016 presidential run. She has made big news at times during her executive tenure—including some high-profile clashes with President Barack Obama—but there's plenty the country at large probably doesn't know about the 70-year-old Brewer.

1. Though she doesn't have a college degree, she has done quite well in politics. After graduating from high school, she attended Glendale Community College, where she earned her radiological technologist certification. But instead of going into medicine, she helped put her husband through chiropractor school and went into politics after becoming discouraged by her local school board in Arizona.

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2. Her father died of lung disease when she was a young girl in the mid-1950s, and that has shaped her viewpoint ever since. Her mother ran a dress shop in Hollywood, Calif., working as many as 70 hours a week, and Brewer and her siblings worked long hours after school to support the family's business. She developed a deep appreciation for small business, spokesman Paul Senseman told The New York Times in 2010.

3. Despite serving more than one term as Arizona's governor, she was elected only once, in 2010, and served until the end of 2014. But she had succeeded Janet Napolitano in 2009 after Obama selected her to his cabinet. Arizona does not have a lieutenant governor, so Brewer, as secretary of state, automatically succeeded Napolitano.

4. When Brewer was in the Arizona legislature, she said that the state should create the position of lieutenant governor so that the secretary of state wouldn't be next in line if the governor left office. In a 1994 op-ed piece for The Arizona Republic, Brewer wrote that the secretary of state position did "little to prepare that officeholder for the statewide leadership role required of a governor."

Brewer was a bit of a comedian when she worked in the state legislature. "Brewer would often crack jokes in boring committee meetings when she was a state legislator, trading punch lines with another lawmaker who acted as the comedic foil,” reported Time magazine. ”The exchanges reminded some of scenes with Lucy and Ethel in "I Love Lucy" more than legislative debate."

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6. While Brewer wouldn't have the same recognition as Sarah Palin in a presidential campaign, the two have worked together. Palin wrote the foreword to Brewer's 2011 book, “Scorpions for Breakfast: My Fight Against Special Interests, Liberal Media, and Cynical Politicos to Secure America’s Border.”

Brewer "couldn't think of anyone better than Sarah," she told The Arizona Republic. "I reached out to her, and without hesitation, she agreed. I was grateful and thrilled that someone with her prominence could be in the book."

7. Apparently that book also annoyed Obama. That was Brewer's explanation for her tense airport tarmac meeting with him when he visited Arizona in 2012 and she greeted him by wagging her finger in his face. No matter how people viewed the visual — whether she was being hostile, or they were just having an intense conversation — the meeting raised her national profile as the news clip was played repeatedly for the next several days. "He was a little disturbed about my book," she said afterward. "We could have been talking about a million different things. Bottom line is that he generally wants to talk about amnesty and I want to talk about securing our border."

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After leading Arizona for five years, Gov. Jan Brewer now can turn her attention to a possible 2016 presidential run. She has made big news at times during her executive tenure — including some clashes with President Barack Obama — but there's plenty the country probably doesn't know about Brewer.
jan brewer, 2016, personal, life, facts
Wednesday, 07 January 2015 08:16 PM
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