Jan Brewer will not seek another term as governor of Arizona, she announced Wednesday.
Brewer, who was appointed to fill the term of Janet Napolitano when she left to become Secretary of Homeland Security in 2009, said, "I will no longer be governor" when her current term ends, effectively ending her shortened two-term reign.
Brewer, who was joined by her husband, John, and son Michael, made her announcement at Park Meadows Elementary School at 20012 N. 35th Ave. just south of the Loop 101 freeway, a school attended by two of Brewer's children.
Brewer, 69, had contemplated challenging a provision in the Arizona Constitution that limits officeholders to two terms. After completing Napolitano's term, Brewer was elected to a full term in 2010.
Standing beneath a banner that proclaimed "Champion of the Arizona Comeback" with her name above, Brewer said Arizona's comeback story was still being written.
"There comes a time to pass the torch of leadership," said Arizona's 22nd governor. "I will no longer be governor, but I will remain a proud cheerleader for the state I love dearly."
She called her announcement bittersweet. "I'm sad to be leaving, but proud of the remarkable progress of the state during my time in office."
She called serving as governor the "privilege and pleasure of my life."
Brewer said she still has a lot of work to do before her second term ends. She pointed to the state's "broken" child protection system and responsible budgets for areas such as education and maintaining the state's economic recovery as priorities.
"Do what you love an love what you do," Brewer told the gymnasium filled with Park Meadows students. "And don't forget to put public service before self-service."
She said she gained her hallmark of public service from her mother, who told her, "Remember that doing the right thing almost always means doing the wrong thing."
U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, released this statement following Brewer's announcement:
"I thank my dear friend Gov. Jan Brewer for her years of outstanding service to the State of Arizona. First entering public service as a mother concerned about the workings of her local school board, Gov. Brewer has served with distinction at every level of state and local government over the last three decades. Throughout her career, Gov. Brewer has always been a great champion for our state, and I wish her all the best in her future endeavors."
Mesa Mayor Scott Smith who is running for the governor's spot, released this statement:
"Gov. Jan Brewer is a remarkably strong leader that has led a distinguished career in public service. She has served her community, her state and her nation well by executing a proven formula of conservative leadership based on the protection of our rights and free market principles. As we have seen time and again, she has also demonstrated the courage to make tough decisions that are in the best interests of the people of Arizona. She has navigated our state in the most challenging of times and in times of prosperity, and has created a legacy and a solid foundation upon which Arizona can build upon as we continue to move forward. Her honest leadership and dedication to principle are exemplary of true public service."
Carlos Garcia of the Puente Movement released this statement, in part:
"Jan Brewer's legacy will always be the historic mistake of signing SB1070. She got into office based off of stigmatizing immigrants and we hope this offers our state an opportunity to turn the page on that hateful history. But her announcement does something else as well. Jan Brewer's decision ends the fake stand-off between the governor and the Obama administration and takes away the distraction from programs like the federal Secure Communities deportation program responsible for the deportation crisis in our state."
Stay with cbs5az.com and CBS 5 News as this story develops.
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