Publisher’s Note: Congratulations to the Capitol’s Best!


There’s something brutally honest about recognition by one’s peers.

The same concept animates peer reviews of academic work. An academician makes his or her case to men and women whose experiences are not a lot different than his or her own. They, in theory, know what’s good and acceptable, and what’s deficient in form or substance.

And that’s why it’s my honor to congratulate all of the nominees and the winners of this year’s Best of the Capitol. The nominations came from our readers, who then picked the winners.

This means the nominees and awardees’ peers – our readers – have publicly concluded the honorees have done a remarkable job!

All the best,

Luige del Puerto

P.S. The Arizona Capitol Times newsroom played no role in selecting the nominees.

2019 Awardees

Best Elected Official – Republican: Sen. Kate Brophy McGee

Best Elected Official – Democrat: U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema

Best Debater – Republican: Sen. Eddie Farnsworth

Best Debater – Democrat: Sen. Martin Quezada

Best Bill Sponsor: Rep. Jeff Weninger

Toughest Bill/Hardest Sell: Equal Rights Amendment

Best Committee Chair: Sen. Heather Carter

Best Activist: Sandy Bahr

Best Lobbyist: Don Isaacson

Best Lobbyist Under 40: Jessie Armendt

Best Government Lobbyist: Amy Love

Toughest Lobbyist To Go Against: Don Isaacson

Best Lobbying Firm: Creosote Partners

Best Dressed: Russell Smoldon

Best Capitol/Political Lawyer: Roopali Desai

Best Capitol Staffer: Cynthia Aragon

Best Political Rising Star: Rep. Jennifer Longdon

Most Likely To Run for Congress: Rep. TJ Shope

Most Quotable Politico: Rep. Charlene Fernandez

Best Power Broker: Michael Crow

Best PR Person: Matthew Benson

Best PR Firm: Veridus

Best Twitterer: Garrett Archer (@Garrett_Archer)

Best Tweet: “We didn’t kill Rep. Cook’s HB2604 (meat; poultry misrepresentation). We took it to live on a farm two towns over where it can run and play with all the other bills.”-Rep. Kirsten Engel, March 2019

Best Industry, Trade & Professional Association: League of Arizona Cities & Towns

Best Charity: Valley of the Sun United Way

Best Grassroots Effort: Save Our Schools

Best Capitol Lawn Event: SRP Day at the Capitol

Best Protest Event: #38 Miles for the ERA

Best Political Action Committee: Ducey Victory Fund Committee 

Best Candidate Campaign: Kyrsten Sinema for U.S. Senate

Best Campaign Manager: Arizonans for Affordable Electricity

Best Pollster: George Khalaf, Paul Bentz