State Capitol News
4:47 pm
Fri November 6, 2009

Brewer portrays herself as "tough" leader

Flagstaff, AZ – Governor Jan Brewer has come up with a theme she hopes will get
her elected next year to a full term in office.

In formally launching her campaign Thursday night, Brewer talked
about the budget deficit she inherited in January from her
predecessor, Janet Napolitano, who quit to take a job in the
Obama administration. Brewer said she was the one who had to come
up with plans to slash state spending.

"Some of these cuts were not easy. But tough times call for a
tough leader. We have made tough choices while making sure that
we are offering education, public safety and other services to
those who need them most."

But her speech did not mention the most controversial part of her
budget-balancing plan -- asking voters for a temporary 1-cent
hike in the state sales tax, a plan lawmakers have yet to
approve. Brewer insisted after her speech she was not avoiding
the issue.

"Certainly we have a huge deficit in order to turn the state
around. And we need to resolve that. I offered up a proposal. I
still believe we're probably going to have to need more revenue.
But there's a lot of other things that we need to do and we need
to continue going down that path and to do those things."

But the issue will be front and center in the campaign with
several Republicans who oppose the tax hike lining up to run
against her.