Catching Up with Governor Jane Hull

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Jane Hull is the second woman to serve as Arizona’s governor, but the first woman elected to serve as the state’s chief executive. She’s also the first woman to serve as speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives. We catch up with Governor Hull to see what she’s been doing since leaving office in 2003.

Ted Simons
>> She was a teacher on the Navajo reservation before breaking into politics. She went on to become Arizona's second woman governor. Tonight we continue our series by catching up with Governor Jane Hull. Since leaving office in 2003 governor Hull has mostly stayed out of politics. In 2004 she spent three months in New York as a public delegate to the United Nations. But as David Majure shows us, the former governor is enjoying life away from the political limelight.

Jane Hull
>> I loved being governor. But I'm glad I'm not governor now.

David Majure
>> Since leaving her office on the ninth floor, former governor Jane Hull has been able to spend more time on the ninth hole.

Jane Hull
>> I play golf. I play bridge. Didn't think I could occupy my time that way. And I do very well with it. We spend about seven months of the year up north in Pinetop. Lots of friends and lots of family. And time just really goes. I'm not a shopper, never have been. So there are a lot of things I don't do. But I love to read. I love to be up on the current events. Like "The Wall Street Journal." Not as wild about the Republic but I read it.

David Majure
>> Hull was the news through the 80s, 90s and the first part of this decade. She was Arizona's speaker of the house, the first woman to hold that office.

Jane Hull
>> And repeat the oath after me.

David Majure
>> When governor Fife Symington resigned in 1997, Hull, then secretary of state, took his place, making her Arizona's second woman governor. She'd become the first to be elected when she won the office the following year. After all that time in the political spotlight, Hull says she doesn't miss it a bit.

Jane Hull
>> No, you know, the spotlight was something they think a lot of people enjoyed more than I did. My children, my grandchildren and my husband, D.P.S. if there was anything we all enjoyed it was called having somebody pick us up and drive us to wherever we were going.

Jane Hull
>> I suppose I miss going to schools, which I could be doing. That may be one of those things I will take up. But going to schools, talking to kids. Those are the kind of things that I like to do. Some of what I had to do I didn't always like to do it. But you do it.

David Majure
>> For example, giving speeches.

Jane Hull
>> I believe that you can't say it in five minutes it probably isn't worth saying. That translates to about 30 minutes in the state-of-the-state terms. So I'll be brief and to the point.

Jane Hull
>> I mean, speeches, I hated the state-of-the-state. I hated it by the time the staff got through writing it and I'd be rewriting it the day before. And it was just so much. I didn't like listening to it when I was a legislator. I didn't like doing it when I was a governor. You know, it's so great to be retired. It's so great to be an observer of the scene.

David Majure
>> As an observer of the political process in Arizona, Hull shared some of her observations.

Jane Hull
>> I think the budget that was passed last year is disastrous. And it's going to hurt the state for quite a few years, I think. But could I have done any better? I don't know. I don't know. I would have tried to have more consensus. And I think the other thing that really frustrates me, having served I think all of two years on appropriations many, many years ago, is it used to be at least a somewhat open process. And you could go testify and beg for your money if you were a mayor or whatever it was. These days, it's all done later shifts office, has been done since I left. And all of a sudden this monster pops out. And that's much like congress does. I mean, what was the $700 billion started as a 100 page bill and ended up as 4 or 500? People can't digest that. The public doesn't understand it. And to me it just does not serve the process well. I have always looked at myself as a consensus builder, somebody that could put the groups together and do something. I think it's gotten not only in Washington but in every state legislature it's gotten so partisan. And we've almost ground toe to a halt as I watch it. My husband yells at it, I just watch. It but there's just no agreement possible that makes for a good deal for the public. And the public is best served when you have a middle ground.

David Majure
>> In the meantime, retirement is serving governor Hull quite well. She's a precinct committeeman for the first time in a decade. Aside from that she has no desire to return to politics.

Jane Hull
>> I think that most successful people in retirement are those who keep their mind busy, who keep doing something. But I don't think you need to be doing the same thing that you were doing. I have 40 years in different areas of republican politics. That's a long, long time. And certainly I had good times and bad times. And it's kind of a time to rest.

Jane Hull:Former Governor of Arizona

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