Arizona's first female governor, Rose Mofford, dies at age 94

- Rose Mofford, Arizona's first female governor, has passed away at the age of 94.

She died at a hospice in Phoenix Thursday morning after being in hospice care since being injured in a fall last month.

Mofford, a Democrat, was a trailblazer for women in politics here in Arizona. She was also the first female Secretary of State.

Mofford was born in Globe, Arizona where she was a standout athlete and high school valedictorian.

She began her work in public office with the state's Treasurer's office and was the business manager for Arizona Highways magazine.

She served as Secretary of State for 11 years and served as Governor from 1988 to 1991 after Republican Gov. Evan Mecham was impeached.

Mofford did not run for her own term in 1990 and was succeeded by Fife Symington.

Mofford was the first of four female governors to lead Arizona.
 
The others who followed her are Jane Hull, Janet Napolitano and Jan Brewer.
 
In 2012, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton asked Mofford to help swear him into office.

Her story is truly unique. She shattered a once thought unbreakable glass ceiling and served as an unparalleled role model to many.  She was nothing short of an Arizona treasure and will be deeply missed.

Statement From Governor Ducey:

“I join the citizens of our state, and many across the nation, in mourning the passing of Arizona’s trailblazing first female governor, Rose Perica Mofford.

Rose Mofford’s story is a truly unique Arizona story. Rising through the ranks of state government to our state’s top office, she shattered a once-thought-unbreakable glass ceiling and served as an unparalleled role model to many. She was noting short of an Arizona treasure, and will be deeply missed.

Governor Mofford brought people together. Both as a governor and a former governor, she exemplified the ability of leaders to unite us—to put partisanship aside and put our country and our state first. During challenging times for our state, Governor Mofford was the steady hand that led us through and held us together. 

Governor Mofford’s unwavering commitment to the people of Arizona is illustrated by her decades of public service to make our state a safer, happier, and healthier place to live. Her service should serve as a model for all of us who follow her—serving with heart, determination and putting the needs of Arizona’s most vulnerable citizens first. 

In honor of Governor Mofford’s life and enduring legacy, I have ordered that all state flags be lowered to half-staff."

Statement from Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton:

“I am deeply saddened by the passing of Governor Rose Mofford. Gov. Mofford was an Arizona original, a gifted and groundbreaking leader, and a personal friend who swore me in when I took office as Mayor. When she became Arizona’s first female governor, her calming leadership was just what our state needed during a tumultuous time. We should all emulate her style, which always reached beyond politics to bring people together to solve problems. True to her rural Arizona roots, she was one of the most generous and thoughtful people I have ever known, and we will never forget her contributions to our state.”

Statement from U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick:

“Long before she made history by becoming Arizona’s first female governor, Rose Mofford was already blazing trails across our state. She grew up in Globe, the daughter of immigrants, and made her mark as Globe High School’s first female class president, its valedictorian, and as an All-American softball player. As our longtime secretary of state and then as governor, she never forgot she was in office to serve the people of Arizona, and it showed. With her abiding love for our state, steady leadership, no-nonsense approach and good humor, it’s no wonder Rose Mofford was a role model to me and so many other women and girls across Arizona. Our state is a better place because of Rose Mofford, and I am honored and grateful to have known her. She will be deeply missed.”
 


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