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Home / Election 2014 / Fresh faces: Legislature will welcome near record number of newcomers (access required)

Fresh faces: Legislature will welcome near record number of newcomers (access required)

T.J. Shope, a Republican from Coolidge, and Juan Mendez, a Democrat from Tempe, share a lot in common.

Both are 27-year-old incoming state representatives. Both studied political science at Arizona State University and received bachelor’s degrees in 2008.

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In her first year as House Democratic leader, Rebecca Rios, D-Phoenix, a longtime lawmaker, was hopeful that her caucus could take a rare vote in favor of a GOP-backed budget. But when the budget didn’t go far enough toward investing in Arizona’s teachers, House Democrats held true to their beliefs and their prom-ises, and voted against the budget package.