Political expert: Brewer still packs plenty of political muscle - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Political expert: Brewer still packs plenty of political muscle

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Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said she will not seek a third term in office. (Source: CBS 5 News) Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said she will not seek a third term in office. (Source: CBS 5 News)
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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

It's been a roller coaster ride in office for Gov. Jan Brewer.

She put Arizona in the national spotlight in the debate over immigration, then made headlines again recently when she vetoed the controversial religious freedom bill SB 1062.

"Whether you like her or don't like her, you always knew she was going to act," said CBS5 political expert Jaime Molera. "She was not going to take the middle of the road. She would pick a side and fight hard for it."

On Wednesday, new questions were raised about the kind of impact and influence Brewer will have at the state capitol, now that she's announced plans to leave office at the end of her term.

Arizona State University professor Bruce Merrill has been studying politics in Arizona for more than 20 years.

He does not believe the governor's "lame duck" status will weaken her power, especially after hearing Brewer speak at a Glendale elementary school.

"Both my pen and veto stamp have plenty of ink," Brewer said.

Merrill told CBS 5 News that Brewer has already shown she's willing to go against her own party for the good of the state.

According to Merrill, the governor will stay be able to push her top priorities, which are education, child welfare and public safety.

"Behind the scenes, there's been a lot of conflict between the governor's office and the Legislature," said Merrill. "I'm not sure that's going to change a whole bunch in the next six to eight months."

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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