Friday, September 23, 2016

Rose Mofford, Arizona's First Female Governor, Is Dead at 96

Lest you think Arizona has always had reprehensible leadership, female or otherwise, I wanted to mention the passing of Rose Mofford, who was Arizona’s 18th governor and the first woman to hold the office. Mrs. Mofford died last Thursday (while I was in Detroit) in a hospice in Phoenix at the age of 94. Mofford's signature appears on my bachelor's degree from Arizona State University, which was an honor and a relief given the fact that racist car dealer turned politician Evan Mecham had been in office when I started at ASU before he was quickly impeached. (The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday hating elf was so awful that the deeply conservative state actually ousted him as the result of an effort led by an openly gay businessman named Ed Buck!) Mofford, then the elected secretary of state known for her beehive and friendly demeanor, rose to the office because Arizona doesn't have a lieutenant governor. She is widely credited with bringing stability back to the state after Mecham's disastrous year in office. Mofford, a Democrat, served from 1988 to 1991 but chose not to run for her own term in 1990. She was succeeded by Fife Symington, a Republican, who resigned amid a real estate scandal in 1997. (His fraud conviction was later overturned.) Mofford was the first of four female governors of Arizona over the next two decades: Republican Jane Hull served from 1997-2003; Democrat Janet Napolitano served from 2003-2009; and finger-wagging Republican Jan Brewer served from 2009-2015.

Read about Ed Buck's recall effort HERE.

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