STATE SENATOR; INDEPENDENT DEMOCRATIC CONFERENCE LIAISON TO THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH
Don’t let her modest title in the Independent Democratic Conference fool you. Savino is one of the legislators closest to labor through her former employment as vice president for political action at AFSCME. One half of the Legislature’s most famous power couple, Savino is the highest-profile member of the IDC after her beau, Jeff Klein.
59. MARIO CUOMO
A former governor who also happens to be the father of the current governor, Mario acts as consigliere to his son, a trusted advisor he can count on, and one who understands the dynamics of the job better than anyone in state government.
58. STEPHANIE MINER
MAYOR OF SYRACUSE; CO-CHAIR, NEW YORK STATE DEMOCRATIC PARTY
Last year the first female mayor of Syracuse became a statewide figure when Gov. Andrew Cuomo made her co-chair of the Democratic Party. Since then she has maintained her independence, becoming the voice of the state’s struggling municipalities in their pushback against Albany’s policies.
57. PATRICK FOYE
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, PORT AUTHORITY OF NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY
A former top aide to the governor, Foye is the head of one of downstate’s biggest and most important state authorities. His mammoth portfolio includes maintaining much of the state’s critical transportation infrastructure, and rebuilding the World Trade Center site.
56. DAVID SKORTON
PRESIDENT, CORNELL UNIVERSITY; CHAIR, NEW YORK RACING ASSOCIATION REORGANIZATION BOARD
He’s the head of one of the state’s most important universities, but he’s also trusted by the governor to handle important tasks like getting NYRA organized. Cuomo’s confidence in Skorton was further demonstrated when the governor tapped him to help develop the state’s business community, garnering Skorton a mention in the State of the State address.
55. MICHAEL LONG
CHAIRMAN, CONSERVATIVE PARTY OF NEW YORK STATE
The Conservative Party, which took over Line C of the ballot in 2011, has fewer members than the Independence Party but a lot more influence. A perennial thorn in the side of Republican Chair Ed Cox, Long has often bucked the GOP by backing conservative candidates even when doing so would fatally damage the Republican in the race. However, his authority could be undercut if the Wilson Pakula law is eliminated.
54. EVAN STAVISKY
PARTNER, THE PARKSIDE GROUP
As a partner in one of the more powerful political consulting firms in the state, Stavisky has been a driving force in getting Democrats elected to the state Senate. While Harry Giannoulis works behind the scenes, Stavisky is the public face of his company. He inherited his political acumen from his two state senator parents.
53. MARIO CILENTO
PRESIDENT, NEW YORK STATE AFL-CIO
As president of a powerful coalition of unions that includes 2.5 million members, Cilento plays a big role in mobilizing his members behind key issues. Despite being dealt a blow with Tier VI pension reform last year, Cilento made up for it by delivering on a minimum wage increase in this year’s budget, albeit one phased in over three years.
52. BENJAMIN LAWSKY
STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF FINANCIAL SERVICES
Lawsky’s power comes less from his position as superintendent of Financial Services and more from his closeness with Cuomo, whom he served as his former chief of staff. That being said, Lawsky has handled the merger of the insurance and banking departments under the DFS umbrella very smoothly, implementing regulations that may affect the financial services industry for years to come.
51. SURI KASIRER
PRESIDENT, KASIRER CONSULTING
Perhaps the most successful lobbyist in New York City and one of the most successful in Albany, Kasirer has come a long way from being a special assistant to former Gov. Mario Cuomo. She again made her mark last year as a power broker by helping Cornell University win a tech campus on Roosevelt Island.