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Brewer denies health problems; Goddard defends sexuality

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer speaks to hundreds attending a Western Pinal Republican Club event where local Republicans and supporters gathered at Eva's Fine Mexican Restaurant Thursday, Sept. 16, 2010, in Casa Grande, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer speaks to hundreds attending a Western Pinal Republican Club event where local Republicans and supporters gathered at Eva

Gov. Jan Brewer insisted Tuesday her health is fine despite what she called “outlandish and completely unsubstantiated” Internet blog posts suggesting she might not be able to serve a full four-year term.

Rumors about Brewer’s health have emerged as her campaign for governor against Democratic Attorney General Terry Goddard has taken a bizarre turn in recent days.

Blog posts have suggested that the 66-year-old Brewer has an unreported medical problem that could keep her from serving out her term if elected in November. Brewer responded Tuesday by declaring she is in good health, while her campaign manager shot down the rumors with a counterpunch, suggesting that Goddard is gay.

“I want to assure everyone that my health is fine,” Brewer said in a statement released by her office. “I intend to vigorously protect and defend Arizonans for four more years, just as I have over the last two years.”

In his separate response, campaign manager Chuck Coughlin said Tuesday the “rumormongering” about Brewer’s health “is about as relevant” as it would be to question Goddard’s sexual orientation. Coughlin asserted that in an interview posted by the Arizona Guardian online news site and in a posting on his own firm’s site.

Coughlin suggested that Goddard’s campaign and Democratic operatives were responsible for the blog postings about Brewer’s health. Goddard campaign spokeswoman Jeanine L’Ecuyer denied that the campaign had any role and she said it was “abhorrent” that Coughlin raised the question of Goddard’s sexual orientation.

“He is heterosexual,” L’Ecuyer said of Goddard, who is married and has a child. “I think this speaks volumes about the kind of people that Jan Brewer is willing to have around her.”

In her statement, Brewer also said she had a “complete checkup” with her doctors before deciding to run in this year’s election “and confirmed there is nothing to prevent me from holding office for four more years.”

Brewer, 66, was Arizona’s elected secretary of state when she became governor in January 2009 when Democrat Janet Napolitano resigned to become U.S. Homeland Security secretary.

Her bid for full four-year term appeared in trouble until April, when she signed a tough new Arizona law combatting illegal immigration. That boosted her popularity in the state and her conservative credentials among Republicans nationwide.

Riding high off an Aug. 24 GOP primary win, she stumbled in a debate last month against Goddard in a much-criticized performance marred by one long cringe-inducing pause.

A Behavior Research Center poll released Monday had Brewer holding an 11-point lead over Goddard in a telephone survey of 450 likely voters surveyed Oct. 1-10. That’s roughly half of Brewer’s lead in a BRC poll conducted nearly three months ago. The latest poll’s margin of error was 4.7 percent.

6 comments

  1. Any health issues that Jan Brewer may or may not have aren’t as important to her competence to serve as Gov. So far she hasn’t shown any competence to serve as gov, she jumps on any issue that will get her elected ala SB1070. To any reasonable person, 1070 should of never been signed into law. When you have an official serving in office that really could never get elected based on his or (in this case) her merits you get bad legislation. In 2 years Brewer hasn’t put forth any legislation to improve the quality of life in AZ. So far what we got from her was SB1070, a plan to privatize the prison system, cuts in education, and poor children’s health services. I don’t know when being ignorant became a qualification to hold public office but somewhere in our political system Republican voters felt Sharon Angle, Christine O’Donnell, Carl Paladino and Jan Brewer are qualified to have the power to make laws governing their lives.

  2. Coughlin reminds one of Ken Mehlman and his stances on gays.

  3. Giving credence to anonymous rumors about Governor Brewer or anyone else is the reason why the public no longer trusts many media sources. Making headlines about anonymous rumors is what I’d expect from those gossip papers at the grocery store check-outs. What has happened to journalism?

  4. If no health problem, then why not be truthful about the biopsy?

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