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Arizona's 1st Female Governor, Rose Mofford, Dies at 94

Image: Arizona's 1st Female Governor, Rose Mofford, Dies at 94

 Rose Mofford greets President Barack Obama in 2009. (AP)

Thursday, 15 Sep 2016 03:36 PM

Rose Mofford, Arizona's first female governor and a shepherd for the state during a period of political turbulence, died Thursday, a former spokeswoman said. She was 94.

She died at a hospice she went to last month after being injured in a fall, former Mofford spokeswoman and longtime friend Athie Hardt said.

Mofford, a Democrat known for her signature beehive hairdo, served as governor from 1988 to 1991. She was the elected secretary of state when she took over for Republican Gov. Evan Mecham, who was impeached and removed from office by the GOP-led Legislature. Arizona does not have a lieutenant governor.

Mofford did not run for her own term in 1990. She was succeeded by Republican Fife Symington, who resigned amid a real estate scandal in 1997. His fraud conviction was later overturned.

Mofford was a Democrat in a traditionally Republican state who was revered by members of both parties. Her death quickly prompted an outpouring of condolences from Democrats and Republicans alike.

"Rising through the ranks of state government to our state's top office, she shattered a once-thought unbreakable glass ceiling and served as an unparalleled role model to many," said Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, who ordered flags be lowered to half-mast in her honor.

She was the first of four female governors to lead the conservative state over the next two decades, including Republican Jane Hull, Democrat Janet Napolitano and Republican Jan Brewer.

"During challenging times for our state, Governor Mofford was the steady hand that led us through and held us together," Ducey said.

Former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods said Mofford "stepped up when she needed to step up."

"I don't think she ever really necessarily wanted the spotlight or wanted to certainly be governor, but she believed in public service and she believed strongly in the state, especially the rural areas of the state," Woods said.

He said Mofford had a "very plain-spoken, blunt" style.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, a Democrat, called Mofford an "Arizona original, a gifted and groundbreaking leader" who provided the state with calming leadership.

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Rose Mofford, Arizona's first female governor and a shepherd for the state during a period of political turbulence, died Thursday, a former spokeswoman said. She was 94.She died at a hospice she went to last month after being injured in a fall, former Mofford spokeswoman...
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2016-36-15
Thursday, 15 Sep 2016 03:36 PM
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