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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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Wild West moments of 2012 (access required)

Gov. Jan Brewer and President Barack Obama (AP photo)

While the mood at the state Capitol this past year might be best described as riotous, 2012 — the Chinese Year of the Dragon — was marked with fewer gaffes, catfights and over-the-top name calling among Arizona’s political elite.

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Andy Biggs wins bid for Senate president

Sen. Andy Biggs

Incoming Senate President Andy Biggs, a conservative Republican from Gilbert, promised to be inclusive and immediately refrained from weighing in on some of the biggest issues facing Arizona without first consulting his caucus.

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