Best Politician

Beto O’Rourke

Winner: Beto O'Rourke

betoorourke.com

Sure, Beto O'Rourke's presidential campaign appears to be sputtering on a quickly emptying tank. His cash intake has slowed drastically, and the drubbing he took from Julián Castro in the first Democratic debate didn't help. Even so, a whole lot of San Antonians remain willing to cheer on the former El Paso congressman, just as they did during his longshot U.S. Senate run against Ted Cruz — one that came awfully close to sending the acerbic arch-conservative back home to Houston. Whether viewed on Facebook Live or in person, O'Rourke's charm, oratorical skills and pragmatically progressive ideas resonated with Texans eager to repaint their state from red to some shade of purple. And by delivering on his promise to campaign in all 254 Texas counties, he displayed a work ethic that's hard not to admire. What may have been most refreshing about O'Rourke, though, was his willingness to let down his guard and allow his authenticity to shine. From skateboarding in a Whataburger parking lot to air drumming to the Who as his staff cheered him on, he comes across less like one of those out-of-touch Washington suits and more like one of us.

2. Ron Nirenberg

facebook.com/nirenberg

3. Joaquin Castro

castro.house.gov

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