On the eve of the annual conservative bash known as CPAC, the titans of the movement are gathering Wednesday night to determine who the best lawmakers, journalists, activists and staffers are in the business.
Maybe the hardest choice for those attending the Weyrich Awards sponsored by Coalitions for America: who is the top Washington lawmaker, Sen. Rand Paul, Rep. Darrell Issa or Sen. Marco Rubio?
The annual event is adding something new this year. It has renamed the award for congressional staffer of the year for Michael Schwartz, the former chief of staff to Sen. Tom Coburn who succumbed to A.L.S. on February 2.
"Mike Schwartz was a dear and valued friend to the conservative movement and he worked tirelessly to further the conservative cause in every aspect of his life," said Colin Hanna, President of Let Freedom Ring.
"Mike was an extraordinary servant and faithful leader," added Coburn. "He showed everyone--by his life, his deeds and words--that things that are unseen are the things that matter."
The award represent a chance for bragging rights among three Washington Examiner columnists. Tim Carney, David Freddoso and Byron York are up for the "media person of the year."
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz will be the keynote speaker at the dinner being held at the Willard InterContinental Hotel in Washington, D.C.
The awards are named after the late Paul Weyrich, a conservative leader and commentator.
National Legislator of the Year
Congressman Darrell Issa
Senator Marco Rubio
Senator Rand Paul
State or Local Elected Official of the Year
Governor Bobby Jindal
Governor Nikki Haley
Governor Sam Brownback
Faith Community Leader of the Year
Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life
Mathew D. Staver, Liberty Counsel
Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput
Youth Leader of the Year
Alex Schriver, National Chairman, College Republican National Committee
Katie Pavlich, News Editor of Townhall.com and author of "Fast and Furious"
Lila Rose, President, Live Action
Grassroots Organization of the Year
Competitive Enterprise Institute
National Right to Work Committee
Susan B. Anthony List
Michael Schwartz Congressional Staffer of the Year
Ed Corrigan, Senate Steering Committee (Senator Jim DeMint)
Wesley Goodman, Director of Conservative Coalitions and State Outreach, Republican Study Committee
William Smith, Senate Budget Committee (Senator Jeff Sessions)
Freshman Legislator of the Year for the 112th Congress
Senator Mike Lee
Senator Pat Toomey
Senator Ron Johnson
Outstanding New Organization of the Year
Courage in the Face of Power
Dan Cathy, President and COO, Chick-fil-A
David Green, President, Hobby Lobby
Leo Johnson, Family Research Council
Conservative Hall of Fame Award
Edwin J. Feulner, Jr., Retiring President, Heritage Foundation
Hon. Edwin Meese, III
Tom Minnery, Senior Vice President, Focus on the Family
Media Person of the Year