Phoenix, AZ – Governor Jan Brewer got her first inkling of the dangers of being
a public official in 1997 when she was a Maricopa County
supervisor. An armed man upset with colleague Mary Rose Wilcox
for her vote
n support of a new tax to build a baseball stadium entered the1
board's hearing room and shot her.
(And at that time it was a realization that these things can
happen, that we have, for whatever the reason, disturbed people
in our community that sometimes do terrible, violent things. And
sometimes those of us that serve in elected positions are the
Now governor, Brewer does not go anywhere in public without at
least one Department of Public Safety officer. But there are
dozens of public appearances she has to make each year. And the
governor enjoys mingling with the crowds that often greet her.
(I've always believed that government ought to be open. People
ought to be freely be able to access the facilities. I think it's
important. But I would assume under the circumstances that we've
all seen today the security, in some manner, probably will be
The shooting is the latest incident to put Arizona in the
national spotlight. Last year it was the new immigration bill and
a law to let anyone carry a concealed weapon. More recently there
is the publicity about denial of transplant coverage and Arizona
taking the lead in seeking to deny citizenship to children of
illegal immigrants. Brewer said she is concerned about how this
incident makes Arizona look to outsiders.
(It certainly doesn't show favor on the state of Arizona. But we
have a lot of good, decent people here. And this is one of those
horrible tragedies that we face.)
And Brewer said the blame should be placed on those responsible.
For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.