Best New Legislator (2012)
As the mother of three and a practicing physician at Denver Health's Westside Family Health Center for two decades, Irene Aguilar had her hands full. Still, she found the time to run for Senate District 32 in the Colorado Legislature, and, since winning that election in 2010, has kept a dizzying pace both in the Capitol and out among her constituents. She's a whiz on health-care issues and has held numerous town meetings on that issue, among other topics. And every Monday, she invites a crew of University of Denver law students to her office to study the pros and cons of a potential piece of legislation. If people are tired of politics as usual, Aguilar could be just the tonic.
Readers' Choice: Michael Hancock