Jan Brewer was born in Hollywood, Calif., and moved to Arizona in 1970.
After serving in the Arizona Legislature, as both a representative and a senator, and as a member of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, she was elected secretary of state in Arizona in 2002 and re-elected in 2006.
She became governor in January 2009, following Janet Napolitano's appointment to head the Homeland Security Department in President Barack Obama's administration.
Brewer and her husband, John, reside in Glendale, Ariz. She is the mother of three sons, one of whom is deceased.
Jan Brewer served as Arizona's secretary of state until she was elevated to the governor's post in January 2009. She succeeded former Gov. Janet Napolitano, a Democrat who resigned to become President Barack Obama's homeland security chief. She won election to her first full term in November 2010.
Brewer criticized Napolitano for months after becoming governor, saying that post-Napolitano Arizona faced an "overdue obligation" to live within its fiscal means. She said Napolitano and other state officials who approved generous spending increases in recent years engaged in wishful thinking in accepting unrealistic revenue projections.
Brewer is regarded as a Republican Party stalwart with strong ties to the business-oriented faction of the party. She also won favor with gun-rights advocates, abortion opponents and other conservatives by signing bills they favored. Those decisions tracked her earlier record as a legislator.
In April 2012, she signed into law a measure that bans most abortions starting at 20 weeks of pregnancy. In August 2012, a federal appeals court prohibited the state from enforcing the law.
Arizona was one of the states that challenged the constitutionality of the 2010 health care reform bill. However, Brewer's administration has moved to implement part of the law by reviewing health insurance rates to see if they should be labeled unjustifiably high. The state also has accepted a federal grant to create a state health insurance exchange.
Brewer irritated many GOP lawmakers and other Republicans soon after taking office by proposing a temporary sales-tax increase to help close the state's big budget deficits. Brewer and lawmakers battled throughout 2009 on budget-balancing plans, at one point causing the state to miss the constitutional July 1 deadline to start the new fiscal year with an approved, balanced budget. The 2009-2010 budget omitted the tax increase and instead relied on spending cuts, borrowing and other maneuvers.
In contrast to 2009's disagreements, the majority of Republicans in early 2010 went along with most of Brewer's new budget proposal for the 2010-2011 fiscal year, including putting the sales-tax proposal on a May 18 special election ballot.
Voters overwhelming approved the three-year, one-cent increase, averting scheduled spending cuts for schools, prisons and other state programs.
But even before the special election's outcome, Brewer had cemented her prospects in the Republican primary for governor by signing a popular but controversial law targeting illegal immigration. Several challengers dropped out and one suspended his campaign after spending more than $3 million of his own money. Brewer won the primary with more than 80 percent of the vote.
She has been at odds with the Obama administration, particularly over the issue of immigration enforcement. The Obama administration filed a challenge to the state's 2010 immigration law, arguing that federal law trumps the state law.
Brewer claimed victory when in late June 2012 the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the most controversial section of the law, a provision that requires police, while enforcing other laws, to question the immigration status of those they suspect are in the country illegally. Still, the high court also struck down other portions of the law, such as a requirement that all immigrants obtain or carry immigration registration papers.
Tensions between Brewer and the president were best illustrated in January 2012 when the governor pointed a finger at Obama while talking on an airport tarmac in Mesa, Ariz. Brewer said she meant no disrespect, but also said the president showed disrespect for abruptly ending their conversation.
In late August 2012, Brewer said during a TV interview from the floor of the GOP convention that she hoped the Democratic president would win re-election. The comment came as the governor was talking about border security. She didn't correct herself, nor was she prompted. A Brewer spokesman later explained that the governor clearly misspoke and continued to support GOP nominee Mitt Romney.
American Conservative Union Rating: Not rated
Americans for Democratic Action Rating: Not rated
Jan Brewer is not seeking re-election in 2014.
(Last updated by The Associated Press on September 5, 2014.)