Nearly 40 years ago, a small group of Arizona's most influential men ran the state's political world. They determined who ran for office, funded their campaigns and set their agenda once they won.
The Phoenix 40 included heads of the local media, legal, banking and development industries. They molded state politics in backrooms at the Phoenix Country Club and the Biltmore. Critics saw it as an exclusionary and self-dealing all-White-male club, but members said the homegrown group backed policies and politicians that moved the state forward.
As Arizona grew and prospered, the Phoenix 40's influence waned, and for 30 years no single group wielded comparable control over state politics.
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