Best New Legislator (2009)
We may not like his position on House Bill 1299, which would pledge all of Colorado's electoral-college votes to the presidential candidate who wins the state — but otherwise, we're with Democrat Joe Miklosi all the way. For years, he worked behind the scene, as state director for Progressive Majority, as director of the Democratic State House Caucus for then-Speaker of the House Andrew Romanoff; as chief of staff for then-House Minority Leader Jennifer Veiga; and as a health-care legislative aide for U.S. Senator Howard Metzenbaum. Last year, he decided to run for office himself, and the candidate who bills himself as "not your average Joe" handily won in his south Denver district. In the Statehouse, he's proved himself above average, pushing for such measures as online voting registration and in-state tuition for illegal immigrants — even going on Peter Boyles's show to debate the issue. Now, that takes cojones.