10 Political Rising Stars You Should Know About in 2013


It's time to take out our crystal ball and look out among the political landscape to see whose star is rising. There are the names that you are already familiar with, including Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie, and Louisiana Republican Governor Bobby Jindal. Newark Democratic Mayor Cory Booker will surely be heard from, once he decides whether his next stop is the New Jersey governor's mansion or the Senate. Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Senator-elect Ted Cruz (R-Texas) will immediately be thrust into leadership roles, Cruz for his Tea Party and Hispanic credentials and Warren for her ties to the administration and her work on financial regulatory reform. They already have national name recognition. But who else is on the watch list for 2013? Who is set to "blow up?" Who are the new rising stars in the political arena? Here is a list of 10 political rising stars for 2013.

1. Julian Castro, Mayor, San Antonio, Texas:

The Harvard-educated Castro is the youngest mayor of one of Top 50 cities in America. He was the first Latino to deliver a keynote address at a Democratic National Convention. Some believe Castro is destined for Washington as a member of Obama's cabinet. While others would like him to run for governor of Texas. His Harvard-educated twin brother, Joaquín, was elected to Congress, making the Castros a dynamic family duo.

2. Senator Tim Scott (R–S.C.):

Scott was recently appointed to replace Senator Jim DeMint. Scott is the first African-American senator from the South since Reconstruction. The Tea Party fiscal conservative will get plenty of national attention as the only African-American Republican in Congress.

3. Representative Keith Ellison (D-Minn.):

The Minnesota congressman was the first African-American elected to the House from Minnesota. He is the first Muslim elected to Congress. Ellison has served on the Judiciary, Foreign Affairs and Financial Affairs Committee.

4. Senator-Elect Joe Donnelly (D–Ind.):

The newly-elected senator from Indiana is Democratic moderate. He is pro-life and is a gun rights advocate. As a Democratic centrist from ruby red Indiana, Donnelly will play a key role (i.e. a swing vote in bipartisan negotiations in the 113th Congress).

5. Kamala  Harris , Attorney General, California:

She is the first Asian/African American to hold that position. She is a leading candidate to replace Attorney General Eric Holder. Her name is on the list as a candidate for the Supreme Court. She is also a strong candidate for California governor.

6. Mark Kelly, NASA:

Kelly is a NASA astronaut and the husband of ex-Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.). He has become an outspoken speaker against gun violence. He has spoken out on the recent shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary school and the Aurora, Colorado movie theater. He and Giffords have their own political action committee.

7. Rick Snyder, Governor, Michigan:

The Republican Party has quite a few high profile governors – Jindal, Christie, Susana Martinez of New Mexico, Rick Scott of Florida, Scott Walker of Wisconsin, John Kasich of Ohio, Mitch Daniels of Indiana, and Bob McDonnell of Virginia. Snyder will be the latest to apply the Republican formula for governance – cut spending, pro-life and anti-union. Right-to-work legislation recently passed in the state and an abortion bill is next. If Snyder is successful leading the anti-abortion effort he will join his nationally known peers.

8. Antonio Villaraigosa, Mayor, Los Angeles:

The high profile mayor is set to make a run for the governorship of California. Optionally, he could decide that he would prefer a senate seat. With his relationships inside the Obama administration he could wind up in the president's cabinet.

9. Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.):

Can an 11-term congressman be considered a "rising" star? You can when you have just been appointed chairperson of the powerful House Judiciary Committee. The committee oversees the Justice Department, immigration, and constitutional issues like gun control.

10. Daniel Garza, Libre Initiative:

Garza is the Executive Director of the Libre Initiative. The conservative former Bush staffer leads his organization in promoting free market principles to the Hispanic community. Organizations like Libre Initiative will be important outlets for promoting the Republican plans for immigration reform and limited government to the Hispanic community.