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Arizona: Battle for the Statehouse

Incumbent: Republican Gov. Jan Brewer

Democrat: Attorney General Terry Goddard

2008 Presidential Result: Obama 45%; McCain 54%

55+ Population (2009 estimate): 23.8%

Overview: Jan Brewer is probably the nation's most identifiable governor when it comes to the immigration issue, since she signed the tough state law that is the subject of a lawsuit by the Obama administration because of it. Brewer has defended the law strongly and it appears to be popular among Arizona voters. She bucked her own legislative leaders by proposing to close the state's budget deficit by increasing the sales tax by a penny rather than cut the budget. When the legislature rejected it, she put the issue to voters, who approved the 1 cent increase in a state referendum. She has had a large lead over Terry Goddard in this, John McCain's home state. Goddard wants to talk more about the economy and less about immigration, which he says is a federal issue.

50+ Facts: Check the latest economic statistics and details on the state budget deficit.

Fun Fact: Barack Obama's gain was Arizona Democrats' loss. Obama picked former Gov. Janet Napolitano to be his secretary of homeland security, taking her out of the picture in Arizona politics and former Lt. Gov. Brewer ascended to the top spot, becoming the front-runner.

'Wild Card' Issue: Money. Both candidates have accepted public money under Arizona's public financing law.

Introduction: Governors' Races Hold High Stakes for the Future

POLITICS_govt elections

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