|U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security|
|Janet Napolitano (D)|
Napolitano was first elected governor in 2002, and was re-elected in 2006. She was Arizona's third female governor, and the first woman to win re-election. Prior to the governship, she served as Arizona Attorney General from 1999 to 2002.
Napolitano was born in New York City to Jane Marie Winer and Leonard Michael Napolitano, who was the Dean of the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. She has two siblings, older brother, Leonard Michael Jr. and Nancy Angela Haunstein. She has partial Italian heritage on her father's side and was raised a Methodist in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she graduated from Sandia High School in Albuquerque in 1975 and was voted Most Likely to Succeed. She graduated from Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California, where she won a Truman Scholarship, and then from the University of Virginia School of Law (Juris Doctor). Her early professional career was as an attorney at Phoenix law firm Lewis and Roca and as the U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona.
In 1991, while a partner with the private Phoenix law firm Lewis and Roca LLP, Napolitano served as an attorney for Anita Hill. Anita Hill testified in the U.S. Senate that then U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas had sexually harassed her ten years earlier when she was his subordinate at the federal EEOC.
In 1993, Napolitano was appointed by President Bill Clinton as United States Attorney for the District of Arizona. As U.S. Attorney, she was involved in the investigation of Michael Fortier of Kingman, Arizona, in connection to the Oklahoma City bombing. She ran for and won the position of Arizona Attorney General in 1998. Her tenure focused on consumer protection issues and improving general law enforcement.
She won the Arizona gubernatorial election of 2002 with 46 percent of the vote, succeeding Republican Jane Dee Hull and defeating her Republican opponent, former congressman Matt Salmon, who received 45 percent of the vote. She was Arizona's third female governor and the first woman in the United States to be elected a governor to succeed another elected female governor. She spoke at the 2004 Democratic Convention after some initially considered her to be a possible running mate for presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry in the 2004 U.S. presidential election but Kerry selected Sen. John Edwards instead. In November 2005, Time magazine named her one of the five best governors in the U.S.
In November 2006, Napolitano won the gubernatorial election of 2006, defeating the Republican challenger, Len Munsil, by a nearly 2–1 ratio and becoming the first woman to be re-elected to that office. Arizona's constitution provides a two-consecutive-term term limit for its governors, meaning Napolitano would have been barred from seeking a third term in office in 2010.
Secretary of Homeland Security
In February 2006, Napolitano was named by The White House Project as one of "8 in '08", a group of eight female politicians who could possibly run for president in 2008. On January 11, 2008, Napolitano endorsed then Illinois Senator Barack Obama as the Democratic nominee for President. On November 5th, 2008, Napolitano was named to the advisory board of the Obama-Biden Transition Project.On December 1, 2008, Barack Obama introduced Napolitano as his nominee for United States Secretary of Homeland Security. On January 20th, 2009, Napolitano was confirmed, becoming the first woman appointed Secretary in the relatively new department. Secretary of State Jan Brewer became the governor of Arizona, as the state does not have a lieutenant governor.
Calls for resignation
In the wake of the December 25, 2009 Christmas Day Bombing episode, several Republicans called for the resignation of Janet Napolitano. Richard Codey was one of the first Democrats to join those asking for her to resign from her position as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. He said, ""We should have someone who doesn't need to go in there and learn about terrorism, learn about security. How close were these 300 people on this plane from losing their lives because homeland security broke down? Boy, it was really close."
- Follow the Money - Janet Napolitano 2006 campaign contributions
- On the Issues - Janet Napolitano issue positions and quotes
- NPR's Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me guest on 'Not My Job' segment
- Wikipedia, Janet Napolitano
Portions of this article were adapted from Wikipedia.