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Who’s hot, who’s not: A year of ups and downs for Arizona politicos (access required)

Flake-sinema

As 2012 comes to a close, some Arizona politicos have reached new heights of prominence and power. Others saw once-promising careers hit the wall.

Jeff Flake and Kyrsten Sinema gained influence and stature in the nation’s capital, while Andy Biggs reached the pinnacle of power in the Arizona Senate.

Meanwhile, former Senate President Russell Pearce and his successor, Sen. Steve Pierce, fell from grace, while a slew of Republican candidates once again failed in their bids to reach the halls of Congress.

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Dems pin hopes on Carmona as an omen of things to come (access required)

Dems pin hopes on Carmona as an omen of things to come

For the first time since the 1980s, Arizona Democrats had a fighting chance for a U.S. Senate seat.

And even though their candidate lost, Democrats are hoping Richard Carmona’s candidacy is a sign of a better future for them in Arizona, where Republicans have dominated for decades.

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Flake defeats Carmona in U.S. Senate race (access required)

Richard Carmona, Jeff Flake spar on earmarks

Jeff Flake entered the race more than a year and a half ago as Arizona’s U.S. senator in waiting, only to end up facing the Democrats’ toughest candidate in a quarter century. But the Democrats’ best play for an Arizona Senate seat since 1988 wasn’t enough to keep the six-term congressman down.

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Tribal leaders push for big Indian voter turnout

In this Oct. 26, 2012, photo, members of the Native American Voters Alliance mark their ballots at an early voting center in Albuquerque, N.M. NAVA, the National Congress of American Indians and other groups have been working to turn around low voter participation that has persisted in Indian Country for decades. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan)

A tribal newspaper in Arizona is publishing a detailed voter guide for the first time ever. A New Mexico pueblo is sending kindergartners home with get-out-the-vote buttons for their parents. Tribes in Wisconsin are reaching out to young adults with a Rock the Vote event.

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