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Best Political Newcomer 

State Rep. Shirley Smith

In her freshman year in the Statehouse, Shirley Smith jumped right from her East Side district into the death penalty debate. Her bill calling for a moratorium on the death penalty had a wrongly accused Texas man's chance of getting passed in the staggeringly Republican legislature. But we admire her dogged pursuit nonetheless. At a time when Illinois has put a moratorium on capital punishment and other states are reevaluating their policies as well, it's nice to know a similar bill was at least introduced in Ohio. No matter how doomed.

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