Best Freshman Legislator

Ann Kitchen

Let's forget about the ongoing redistricting confusion for a moment and think about the good marks Ann Kitchen earned during her freshman year at the Legislature. Though the incoming class is generally seen and not heard at the seniority-driven Lege, Kitchen, a policy expert by profession, quickly impressed the big fish with her depth of knowledge on issues such as health care and education. She also put up a good fight on behalf of her South/Southwest Austin constituents who don't exactly fancy the idea of the Longhorn gasoline pipeline running through their back yards. Kitchen didn't get everything she wanted on pipeline safety requirements, but her ability to argue a case with passion did not go unnoticed either. Now there's not a soul at the Lege who doesn't know something about the pipeline, thanks to Kitchen. As the representative told the Chronicle a few months ago, "You have to know when to fight and when to step back and observe the process." She's a quick study, that one.

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