Jane Dee Hull (née Bowersock; born August 8, 1935) is an American former politician and educator. In 1997, she ascended to the office of Governor of Arizona following the resignation of Fife Symington, becoming the state's 20th Governor. Hull was elected in her own right the following year, and served until 2003. Hull was the first woman formally elected as Governor of Arizona, and the second woman to serve in the office after Rose Mofford. She is a member of the Republican Party.
A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Hull is a graduate of the University of Kansas with a degree in education. Hull worked as an elementary school teacher while her husband studied to become an obstetrician. She moved to Arizona with her husband, Terry, in 1962 where he began working on the Navajo Nation, while Jane raised the couple's four children and taught English. In 1964, the family moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where she continued to raise her family. A decade later, she started her political career, and became involved with Republican women groups, in addition to volunteering on political campaigns.
In 1978, Hull was elected to her first political office, as a member of the Arizona House of Representatives. During her tenure in office, she would become House Majority Whip and Speaker of the House. In 1994, she was elected to the office of Secretary of State of Arizona, becoming the first Republican to hold the office in more than six decades. After ascending to the office of Governor of Arizona following Fife Symington's resignation, Hull was elected Governor in 1998 over former Mayor of Phoenix Paul Johnson, in a landslide election. Hull was constitutionally barred from running for a second full term in 2002, and has since retired from public service.
Born Jane Dee Bowersock in Kansas City, Missouri, Hull graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in education. She taught elementary school in Kansas and, while her husband was a public health physician there. She moved to Arizona in 1962, first to the Navajo Nation, and later to Phoenix.
After hearing a Barry Goldwater speech, she campaigned for him in the United States presidential election in 1964.
Hull entered politics in 1978 by being elected to the Arizona House of Representatives as a Republican. She served for seven terms, including two as Speaker of the House, the first female Speaker in Arizona history.
In 1991, while she was Speaker, the Arizona legislature experienced a major political scandal called AZSCAM, which resulted in the resignation or removal of ten members of the House and Senate. As a result, Speaker Hull instituted a number of ethics reforms to reestablish public confidence in the legislature.
Hull was elected Arizona Secretary of State in 1994. After Governor Fife Symington was forced to resign due to a felony conviction, Hull became governor on September 5, 1997. She was sworn in by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, herself a former Arizona legislator. Arizona has no lieutenant governor, so the secretary of state, if holding office by election, stands first in the line of succession.
Hull was elected governor in her own right in 1998. This election was particularly significant because it was the first time in the history of the United States that all five of the top elected executive offices in one state were held by women: Hull; Betsey Bayless, secretary of state; Janet Napolitano, attorney general; Carol Springer, treasurer; and Lisa Graham Keegan, Superintendent of Public Instruction.
While she was governor, Hull's relations with home state U.S. Senator John McCain were strained. During the 2000 primary season she endorsed his opponent, Texas Governor George W. Bush, in the Arizona primary.
Hull is known for signing the bill that resulted in the "alt-fuels" scandal of 2000. The resulting law promised car buyers up to 60 percent off new vehicles if they were converted to run on alternative fuels like propane or natural gas, yet did not properly cap the number of buyers eligible for the program, (nor did it force buyers to use the new fuels). Instead of the $10 million the program was supposed to cost, it ended up costing Arizona $200 million before lawmakers changed the rules.
Hull was constitutionally barred from running for a second full term in 2002 (the Arizona constitution limits the Governor to two consecutive terms, or parts of terms, even when he or she ascends to the office in the middle of a term), and she was succeeded by Janet Napolitano, who defeated Matt Salmon.
After leaving office, she spent three months in New York City, as a public delegate from the United States to the United Nations General Assembly (2004).
After the death of Rose Mofford on September 15, 2016, Hull became the oldest living Governor of Arizona, in addition to being the oldest living Secretary of State of Arizona. An elementary school is named for Hull in Chandler, Arizona.
Hull is married to Terry Hull, a retired obstetrician. They have four children.