BEST POLITICIAN Phoenix 2005 - Governor Janet Napolitano
Sure, we've picked on Governor Janet in the past, but only because we have such high expectations for our favorite daughter. The 47-year-old University of Virginia law school graduate is on track to become the next major national political figure to emerge from our fair state. She's already served as the U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona and was elected as Arizona Attorney General in 1998. Last year, she scored points with Senator John Kerry during the presidential campaign. Since she was elected governor in November 2002 -- no small feat for a woman with a D after her name -- the maven of moderates has made mincemeat of the state's GOP-ized Legislature. Her supercharged intellect, quick wit and take-no-prisoners style has scared off any serious contender to challenge her bid for reelection in 2006. We won't be surprised to find her in the U.S. Senate one day soon. With Sandra Day O'Connor retiring from the Supreme Court and Senator John McCain entering into the twilight of his career, Napolitano is Arizona's best bet to carry forward the Grand Canyon State's long and impressive performance on the national political stage. Go, Janet! We'll be watching.