Best Local Lefty Icon (2011)

State Senator Kyrsten Sinema

Kyrsten Sinema, a state senator from Legislative District 15 and formerly a state House Representative for the same liberal enclave, is perhaps best known for being the foil for state Senate President Russell Pearce, opposing him in committee and on the House and Senate floors on a host of issues, the most notable being Pearce's dreaded breathing-while-brown statute Senate Bill 1070.Though she sprang from conservative Mormon stock, she's a fierce defender of lefty causes in a state that's so far right it could tilt the Earth on its axis. A lawyer who is currently working on her doctorate at Arizona State University's School of Justice and Social Inquiry, she's been a valiant champion for the poor, the underprivileged, and the state's immigrant population.Time magazine chose her as one of its 40 under 40 political up-and-comers, and she's served the Obama administration on its White House Health Reform Task Force. But we like her for spearheading the Democratic effort in the Legislature to oppose Pearce's nefarious proposals at every turn, albeit from the outnumbered ranks of the Democratic minority. This, she does, while claiming to "love" the belligerent bigot in purely Christian terms. That's why we encourage Sinema to "love" Pearce a little harder every day the Legislature's in session.


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