Daniel Doherty

This wasn’t wholly unexpected. After former Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano resigned her post in 2009 to join the Obama cabinet as the Secretary of Homeland Security, then-Secretary of State of Arizona Jan Brewer assumed the governorship without Arizonans casting a single vote in her favor. She later won re-election in 2010, but due to a provision in Arizona’s state constitution, is barred from serving a third term. The AP has more:

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer ended months of speculation about her political future on Wednesday when she announced that she will not seek a third term in office.

The Arizona Constitution limits governors to two terms, but the Republican governor and her advisers have kept alive a scenario in which she might mount a longshot legal challenge to seek another four years in office.

That legal challenge, however, was unlikely to be successful:

Legal experts say it would have been a long shot to challenge the constitution and run again.

The 69-year-old Brewer made the announcement at a school where she boasted of her accomplishments on issues such as education and the economy.

The race for governor is wide open for the first time since 2002. Hence why several Republican candidates have already jumped into the race, all of whom were hoping -- and anticipating -- Brewer would step aside at the end of her second and final term:

Several other Republicans have entered the primary race for governor under the assumption Brewer wouldn't run again. They include Arizona State Treasurer and former Cold Stone Creamery CEO Doug Ducey, Secretary of State Ken Bennett, Mesa Mayor Scott Smith, former GoDaddy legal counsel Christine Jones, state Sen. Al Melvin and former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas.

Actually, there are nine Republican contenders who’ve thrown their hats into the ring already. So even if she was successful -- that is, able to overturn a constitutionally-approved amendment barring her from serving another term -- she might have had her hands full anyway. After all, she recently vetoed SB 1062, a bill that, if signed into law, would have allowed religious Americans who operate businesses to refuse services to gays and lesbians. Here’s what she said about her decision to veto the measure:

"To the supporters of the legislation, I want you to know that I understand that long-held norms about marriage and family are being challenged as never before. Our society is undergoing many dramatic changes," she said. "However, I sincerely believe that Senate Bill 1062 has the potential to create more problems than it purports to solve. It could divide Arizona in ways we cannot even imagine and no one would ever want.

"Religious liberty is a core American and Arizona value. So is non-discrimination."

I suspect many religious Arizonans took issue with her decision. That being said, she apparently did do a lot of good for her home state during her tenure, things conservatives can appreciate.

The people of Arizona will choose their next governor on November 4, 2014.


Daniel Doherty

Daniel Doherty is Townhall's Deputy News Editor. Follow him on Twitter @danpdoherty.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography