Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who left her state for an undisclosed destination on Dec. 2, is visiting Arizona soldiers in Afghanistan, according to a person familiar with the governor’s schedule.
The Republican governor’s absence was noticed yesterday when she didn’t attend the state’s official election canvass. Brewer’s office filed a routine notice with Secretary of State Ken Bennett that she would be out of the state until Dec. 8, leaving him as acting governor, according to Matt Roberts, a spokesman for the secretary.
“The governor is out of state on official business,” Matthew Benson, Brewer’s spokesman, said in a telephone interview. “That’s all I can disclose at this time.”
More than 9,000 Arizona Army and Air National Guard members have been ordered to active duty since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against New York City and the Pentagon outside of Washington, according to the Arizona guard Web-site. The person with knowledge of the governor’s schedule wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.
The lack of information led news organizations, including ABC News and the Huffington Post, to speculate on the whereabouts of the 68-year-old governor, who came to national prominence for signing a 2010 immigration law that led to boycotts and a federal court battle.
The measure resulted in a high-profile fight with the Obama administration that ended before the U.S. Supreme Court, which struck down much of the law. Last week, the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit over Brewer’s decision this summer to deny driver’s licenses to young immigrants allowed to stay in the country under a new federal deferred action program.
The Arizona Republic reported that Brewer met with a wounded soldier at a hospital in Washington, D.C., yesterday.