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Jan Brewer: Dismisses budget differences, says everybody ‘went home happy’ (access required)

Gov. Jan Brewer had a big agenda for Arizona’s centennial year.

In her fourth year as governor, Brewer wanted a budget that gave more money to education, public safety and health services. She wanted sweeping changes that would overhaul the way Arizona hired and fired state employees. And she wanted to continue the economic recovery that she has consistently referred as the “Arizona comeback.”

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Steve Pierce: Keeping GOP out of the news was biggest challenge (access required)

Extraordinary events put Steve Pierce at the helm of the Arizona Senate — and those same events made the job of leading the chamber, which is already difficult by itself, even more challenging.

The Prescott rancher was elected as Senate president following the ouster of Russell Pearce, who lost a November recall election to a rival Republican. While some of Pearce’s colleagues had no love lost for the former senator, others remained loyal to him.

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Andy Tobin’s leadership lessons learned the hard way (access required)

Andy Tobin was elected speaker of the House just days after Kirk Adams’ resigned to run for Congress at the end of the 2011 legislative session.

While his seven or so months as speaker during the interim could hardly prepare him for the rigors of leading a chamber during a regular session, it’s clear that he learned some lessons for the task ahead. As is often the case, some of those lessons were learned the hard way.

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