Will the Next Secretary of State Please Stand Up?

The list of names for Arizona Secretary of State continues to grow. Sonoran Alliance began speculating some time ago who would be the likely successor to Secretary of State as Jan Brewer ascends to the Ninth Floor.

Included on that list are:

Former State Representative Laura Knaperek: Probably the most suited for the position given her legislative record, personality, energy and high name identification. Knaperek is coming off a recent congressional race and has been popular among conservatives.

Current State Senator Jack Harper: Also a good choice given his record although somewhat politically vulnerable in a 2010 election bid. Harper has already filed an exploratory committee for the seat in 2010. He is also popular among some conservatives.

Current State Senator Barbara Leff: Would also make a good choice given her thoughtful and deliberative legislative skills.

Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell: This would be familiar territory for Purcell but she is much older than the other candidates and her energy level for the job would likely be an issue. Purcell would also be the next in line should anything happen to Brewer.

Former GOP Chairman John Munger: This former Arizona Republican Party Chairman is redirecting his sights on the Secretary of State seat now that Brewer will be moving to the Governor’s Office. Munger was originally rumored to be seeking the Governor’s post in 2010 but will not likely challenger her in a Primary. Munger is an attorney who helped McCain in the recent election.

Whoever Brewer appoints will need to be ready for a 2010 challenge by Democrats. This factor will likely figure into Brewer’s decision given Arizona’s history of Secretary of States who have become Governor.


  1. Antifederalist says

    Why not Dean Martin for Sec. of State? That would put him in a better position to run for Gov. eventually. But perhaps the unpalatable Brewer wouldn’t want such a charismatic potential challenger so close to her doorstep.

    I’d support Barbara Leff for Sec. of State too. I just wouldn’t want her beating Dean to the 9th floor.

  2. Republican for life says

    I wanted to see Laura Knaperek run for SOS in 2010 anyway. She is the real deal. There have been too few like her. Brewer and Knaperek have a chance to make a nice run at state leadership for the GOP.

  3. silver surfer says

    Actually, an appointed Secretary of State is NOT in line for governor. Terry Goddard would be.

  4. I didn’t think about it until now, but Knaperek makes the most sense. I am glad to see her as a possibility.

  5. Just one quick correction re the Purcell paragraph,from Article 5, Section 6 of the Arizona Constitution –

    “If the secretary of state be holding otherwise than by election, or shall fail to qualify as governor, the attorney general, the state treasurer, or the superintendent of public instruction, if holding by election, shall, in the order named, succeed to the office of governor.”

    What all that means is that an appointed SOS is not in the line of succession for the governor’s office.

  6. Doonesberry says

    Well said, Republican for Life.

    As a conservative Republican woman, I would very much like to see Brewer / Knaperek leadership.

    When Knaperek served in the State House, she was a well-regarded conservative and a highly-efficient administrator. What better pedigree to fill Jan Brewer’s shoes?

  7. Phil Townsend says

    How about former Arizona Senate President Brena Burns?

  8. Phil Townsend says

    Sorry, Brenda Burns.

  9. I would support Laura K or Barbara L – I have only interacted with Barbara – I like what I hear about both of them….

  10. Why Laura K? Nothing special there and a bad campaign record. Is Brewer close to Knaperek/Sproul?

  11. “Knaperek is popular with conservatives”

    “Harper is popular with some conservatives”

    Knaperek was not endorsed by Pachyderm Coalition. Her opponent Hay, was.

    Harper was endorsed by Pachyderm Coalition.

    Which “conservatives” have you been talking to?

  12. Craig-

    Knaperek did not run against Hay.

    Best choice is Munger! He could beat Brewer in a 2010 Primary.

  13. The normal calculation in such things is to appoint someone who is qualified but not likely to be interested in running for the office when the appointed term expires. If any of the office aspirants is appointed, that gives them a distinct advantage for 2010 – which creates enemies the new Governor will not want. Best to appoint a known, competent elections administrator. Helen Purcell is the right political choice for many reasons. I’m certain Brewer knows her well from County days.

  14. The above post from “Jack” was not me, as some may think. I am not a candidate at this time. I am exploring the possibility of running for SOS. I have told conservative insiders for years that the SOS position, or challenging John McCain in the Republican Primary for U.S. Senate were two of my most-likely options. I would point out, that I was the only one mentioned that has been battle-test four straight primary elections and the grace of God has protected me every time. As those without faith were carving my political gravestone, I believed that God had a purpose for me to hold that position. I sacrificed whatever I had to win and be in a position to advance a conservative agenda. It would be an understatement to say that I was “instrumental” in referring the Marriage Amendment to the ballot. I believe I can still accomplish more for the values that we share.

  15. Tim Bee would be a great SOS. I think since Brewer will need S AZ to win a statewide race for Gov. bringing him on board would help alot and make sure we do not get forgotten.

  16. I hope people have enough sense to be skeptical of any politician who believes he has been chosen by God for political office. Not only does it indicate a destructive level of arrogance, it also displays a very bizarre understanding of his religion.

  17. Wooden Teeth says

    I didn’t realize that the Pachyderm clique was in charge of determining who was or was not a conservative.

    Appointing someone who just lost a general election is a bad idea.

    Appointing a sitting legislator or other officeholder is a great idea.

  18. Hey Jack Harper,

    Care to apologize to the state for proposing the unconsitutional (and thus time and money wasting) legislation that would allow Republicans and Independents to vote in the Democratic primary but not vice versa?

    Or perhaps you would like to apologize to the Constitution for treating it like a cheap political prop to further your political career?

    I’d say you need a few more civics lessons before you’re made Secretary of State.

  19. My guess is that its going to be none of the above.

  20. God save us from self-serving blow-hards. Whoever that may be.

  21. Little Sister says

    Please, tell me that Senator Jack Harpers post was in similitude to Tina Fey playing Sarah Palin on SNL. That was the funniest thing I have read in a long time! Thanks for the laughs. I am sure that Jan Brewer will choose the right woman/man for the job. I have lived in Tempe for my whole life and must say, Laura Knaperek is the hardest working and most dedicated person I have ever met. I hope she gets the appointment!

  22. Little Sister,

    You wish. Welcome to the new face to the Arizona Republican party. Eat it up. You all elected them!

  23. I’ll take Tim Bee for SOS.

  24. Little Sister says

    Klute, elected who? I am just glad that Nappy is on her way out of the state. She did a great job here in the AZ with her liberal tax and spend policies. What will her legacy be? Piestawa Peak? A 3 billion dollar debt? The 911 monument? All nice black eyes on the state given to us by Nappy. Brewer is the change that Obama promised. Thank you Mr. President Elect. We now have a more conservative legislature and will have Jan Brewer as Gov. Finally, some real leadership for a change. I guess Obama is living up to his slogan. Now lets hope that Brewer is smart and decisive in her SOS pick. You all know who I am pulling for.

  25. “Former State Representative Laura Knaperek: Probably the most suited for the position given her legislative record, personality, energy and high name identification. Knaperek is coming off a recent congressional race and has been popular among conservatives.”

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. Lil sis, you married?

  26. Conservative to the Core says

    I couldn’t agree more with the nice things people are saying about Knaperek. There are obviously other good choices, but Knaperek seems to make the most sense. She is very compatible with Brewer philosophically. I think it would be great for the face of the Republican Party in Arizona to be two articulate, conservative and tough women. You can almost feel the momentum going back toward Republicans in Arizona after an almost disastrous election.

  27. Casual Observer says

    I’ll second the Knaperek motion.

    Dedicated, conservative, hard working, knows how to play well with others, and she isn’t Jack Harper.

  28. Wooden Teeth says

    Let’s see. No one wants to appoint a recent election loser to to such a position. Besides, what did Jan Brewer and Betsey Bayless have in common before either became the SOS? Maricopa County Board of Supervisors! What Republican currently on the BOS would be a great SOS? Kunasek!

  29. Casual- I think that anyone would feel that it is a complement not to be compared to Jack Harper.

    Have you ever tried to hold a conversation with the man? We stand for all of the same things, but he makes conservatives look like fools. His outlandish rhetoric, and his inability to put together a complete sentance with any logical thought makes many of us utterly embarrassed.

  30. Yes, we love Laura Knaperek. Her spending priorities in Appropriations Committee were different than Democratic Senator Ruth Solomon’s, just as expensive, but different.

  31. Fake suporter like J and D says

    Hurrah for Laura Knaperek! She voted for the bill in July of 2002 that eventually set the baseline rapist free from prison to rape and murder again. She’s our kind of go alon Republican.

  32. Fake suporter like Casual Observer says

    Three cheers for Laura Knaperek! She really knows how to jump onto the bandwagon after other conservatives do the hard work. After failing to work hard enough to be elected to the state House to vote for the marriage amendment, she brought reinforcements from American families International send out emails as if she did something.

  33. Fake supporter like Conservative to the core says

    I’m all in for Laura Knaperek. Her penchant for excessive regulation has taught the house-rental industry to fear the nanny-state Arizona Legislature. No wonder she wins so many elections in Tempe!

  34. Please, dear God, anyone but Jack Harper.

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