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Congratulations to the 2021 Best of the Capitol nominees and winners!

Arizona’s marquee party, Best of the Capitol is a light-hearted event that honors the people and groups engaged in Arizona politics in more than 30 categories, including Best Elected Official, Best Lobbyist, Best Dressed and Best Twitterer.



The complete list of winners, who are selected by Arizona Capitol Times readers, is below.

Best Elected Official – Republican

Sen. TJ Shope

Best Elected Official – Democrat

U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema

Best Debater – Republican

Sen. JD Mesnard

Best Debater – Democrat

Rep. Daniel Hernandez

Best Bill Sponsor

Sen. TJ Shope

Toughest Bill/Hardest Sell

Sports Betting: H2772 (Fantasy Sports Betting; Event Wagering)

Best Committee Chair

Rep. Jeff Weninger

Best Activist

Emily Anne Gullickson

Best Lobbyist

Kelsey Lundy

Best Lobbyist Under 40

Jessie Armendt

Best Government Lobbyist

Jeff Gray

Toughest Lobbyist To Go Against

Tom Farley

Best Lobbying Firm

HighGround Inc.

Best Dressed

Rep. Alma Hernandez

Best Capitol/Political Lawyer

Roopali Desai

Best Capitol Staffer

Wendy Baldo

Best Political Rising Star

Rep. Amish Shah

Most Likely To Run For Congress

Sen. TJ Shope

Most Quotable Politico

Rep. John Kavanagh

Best Power Broker

Rep. Regina Cobb

Best PR Person

Matthew Benson

Best PR Firm

Strategies 360

Best Twitterer

Beth Lewallen (@ItalicizedAZ)

Best Tweet

“So I stayed home tonight and watched Netflix. Caught up on Breaking Bad episode ‘Half Measures.’ Ends with this great line: ‘The moral of the story is I chose a half measure, when I should have gone all the way. I’ll never make that mistake again. No more half measures.’” – Gov. Jan Brewer @GovBrewer

Best Crisis Response and Management

Arizona State University

Best Industry Trade & Professional Association

Arizona Rock Products Association

Best Charity

Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation

Best Grassroots Efforts

Invest in Ed – Proposition 208

Best Capitol Lawn Event

Arizona Farm Bureau AgFest

Best Political Action Committee


Best Candidate Campaign

Mark Kelly – U.S. Senate

Best Campaign Manager

Luis Acosta

Best Campaign Commercial

Mark Kelly – Countdown

Best Pollster

Paul Bentz