Remembering Grant Woods with former Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano
Nov. 12, 2021
Janet Napolitano, a former Arizona Governor, and Arizona Attorney General shares her memories of former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods.
While Woods served as the Attorney General of Arizona, Napolitano served as U.S. Attorney General for the state of Arizona which would often cause the two to intersect and interact with one another on a plethora of issues affecting the state.
“One thing I enjoyed about Grant is that we could always just talk it out and resolve whatever tensions existed,” Napolitano said.
Napolitano, a Democrat, praised Woods’ time as Arizona Attorney General who was a Republican while serving in his eight-year term.
“I think he was an excellent Attorney General for Arizona and he was a leader among the community of Attorney general’s around the country,” Napolitano said. “He was voted on by his peers as the nation’s best Attorney General one year.”
Napolitano spoke about Woods’ relationship with fellow moderate Arizona Republican John McCain. Both were known to cross the aisle from time to time. Woods eulogized McCain at his funeral in 2018 called his friendship with the former U.S. Senator “The greatest honor of my life.”
Being a moderate-to-liberal Republican, Woods endorsed Napolitano in her run for Governor back in 2002.
“I would often touch base with Grant on how he would go about situations or why a certain case was being brought a certain way but he was likable,” Napolitano said. “When I announced for Governor, he became the first ‘Republican for Janet’ and I believe I was one of the first Democrats that he crossed over to endorse.”
Woods was someone who would speak his mind no matter what and sometimes angering Republican party leaders. He would be an independent thinker, Napolitano said.
There was a period of time when Woods may have considered a run for the Senate in Arizona and would likely win, according to Napolitano. However, in today’s political spectrum, his election would seem unlikely.
“There was a time that he could’ve won that office,” Napolitano said. “The primaries went so far to the right but there was a time that he could differentiate from party lines and be attractive as a general election candidate.”