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Congratulations to the 2020 Best of the Capitol!


The best kind of recognition comes from peers.

It’s the highest form of accolade. Your colleagues are saying, “We know what you’re up against. We admire your work ethic. We see the results.”

And that is why it is my honor to congratulate this year’s Best of the Capitol winners and nominees.

Luige del Puerto

Associate Publisher & Editor, Arizona Capitol Times

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


2020 Awardees

Best Elected Official–Republican – Sen. Kate Brophy McGee

Best Elected Official-Democrat – Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman

Best Bill Sponsor – Sen. Kate Brophy McGee

Best Debater-Republican – Sen. Heather Carter

Best Debater-Democrat – Rep. Aaron Lieberman

Best Committee Chair – Sen. Heather Carter

Best Political Rising Star – Rep. Amish Shah

Best Power Broker – U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema

Most Likely To Run for Congress – Rep. TJ Shope

Most Quotable Politico – U.S. Sen Kyrsten Sinema

Best Lobbyist – Kelsey Lundy, Compass Strategies

Best Lobbyist Under 40 – Jessie Armendt, Compass Strategies

Toughest Lobbyist To Go Against – Tom Farley, Willetta Partners

Best Government Lobbyist – Jeff Gray, Central Arizona Project

Best Capitol Staffers – Michael Hunter, Arizona House of Representatives & Wendy Baldo, Arizona Senate

Best Activist – Breann Westmore, March of Dimes

Best Pollster – Paul Bentz, HighGround

Best Capitol/Political Lawyer – Jeff Kros, HighGround

Best PR Person – Matthew Benson

Best Political Action Committee: Smart and Safe Arizona

Best Twitterer – Beth Lewallen

Best Tweet – If members of Congress can go on self imposed quarantine and still get paid. It only makes sense that Congress should pass emergency laws to give paid sick leave to every American until this emergency is over. – U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego

Best Dressed – Russell Smoldon, B3 Strategies

Best Work-at-Home Outfit: Rep. Alma Hernandez

Best Work-at-Home Distraction: Binge-watching on Netflix

Best Lobbying Firm – Compass Strategies

Best PR Firm – Veridus

Best Charity: March of Dimes

Best Response to COVID-19–Private Company – Honeywell

Best Response to COVID-19 – Hospital: Banner Health

Best Response to COVID-19 – Nonprofit Organization: Arizona Community Foundation &

Phoenix Rescue Mission

Most Creative Response to COVID-19 – O.H.S.O. Brewery and Distillery (Hand Sanitizer Production)

Best Response to COVID-19 – Government – School Districts

Best Response to COVID-19 – Government Health Official – Dr. Cara Christ, Director, Arizona Department of Health Services

Best Response to COVID-19 – Government Official – U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema

Best Industry, Trade and Professional Association: Greater Phoenix Chamber

Best Capitol Lawn Event: ASU Day at the Capitol

Toughest Bill/Hardest Sell – Gas Tax – H2899 (fuel; electric cars; hybrids; taxes)

Best Grassroots Effort: Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Campaign

Best Protest Event: Winner Black Lives Matter in Downtown Phoenix


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