Aide mum on Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's whereabouts

PHOENIX - Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's office says she will be absent from the state nearly all this week but her spokesman won't say where she is.

Brewer spokesman Matthew Benson said in a brief email to The Associated Press that Brewer was unavailable to participate in the general election canvass Monday morning because she was out of the state on official business.

"That is all I can disclose at this time," Benson added.

He did not immediately return calls asking about Brewer's absence.

Under the Arizona Constitution, Secretary of State Ken Bennett is acting governor because Brewer is absent from the state.

Bennett said his office late Friday received the customary notification of Brewer's absence.

Bennett spokesman Matt Roberts said the notification sent by a Brewer scheduling aide said Brewer would be gone Sunday morning to Saturday afternoon.

Roberts said Bennett and his staff did not receive any additional information about Brewer's whereabouts.

Bennett plans to be in state the entire week and is unaware of anything that he will have to do as acting governor, Roberts said.

However, during the canvass earlier Monday, Bennett signed election documents as acting governor while his assistant Jim Drake did so as the acting secretary of state.

A year ago, Bennett made news as acting governor when he acted on behalf of Brewer, who was out of state at the time, to remove the chairwoman of the state redistricting commission.

The removal was immediately ratified by the state Senate but later overturned by the Arizona Supreme court.

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