50 Most Beautiful People for 2011: Page 12 of 50

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Age: 26
Hometown: Oakley, Idaho
Political party: Republican
Relationship status: Single

Mandi Critchfield is not your usual Republican aide. For one thing, Sen. Mike Crapo’s (R-Idaho) press secretary is a member of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the National Rifle Association (NRA). For another, she’s an enthusiastic Star Wars and Star Trek fan — as evidenced by her choice of a Star Wars T-shirt for The Hill’s 50 Most Beautiful People photo shoot.

She grew up as a potato farmer on her family’s 3,000-acre spread in southern Idaho. Her hometown has only about 2,000 people; recreation back home is snowmobiling, ice fishing and shooting, but only targets.

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“Just because I want to protect our Second Amendment rights doesn’t mean I want to hurt innocent animals,” she said.

Critchfield is warm and personable and not afraid to break what she calls the Senate’s “caste system,” where legislative assistants are sometimes loath to talk to interns.

She’s lived in Washington for almost three years, which could be a crossroads.

“I’ve heard if you’re here for three years or longer, you get stuck here for another 10,” she said.

She sees herself returning to the West someday, where mountains are really mountains, unlike the gentle Shenandoah hills.

And we don’t have the humidity,” she adds.

Her beauty tips include Omega-3 pills, which she said are “amazing for skin and hair” and wheatgrass pills.

Critchfield went to Brigham Young University and prefers Utah’s more formal dating rituals to the casual scene in D.C.

“In Utah a boy would pick you up and take you to dinner and a movie,” she said. “I think boys should take girls on real dates.”

She’s really looking forward to the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. So if you’re thinking about asking her out, there’s your chance.

—Alexander Bolton

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