The 2019 Political Consultants Power 50; 6 - 50

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The 2019 Political Consultants Power 50; 6 - 50

The people putting New York politicians into office.
July 28, 2019
6. Neal Kwatra & Austin Shafran
Founder and CEO; President
Metropolitan Public Strategies

Key clients: John Liu, New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council, Corey Johnson, Gareth Rhodes

The well-connected Neal Kwatra had Corey Johnson as a key client in 2017, and Metropolitan Public Strategies is already in demand heading into 2020 and 2021. The firm did major work in several 2018 House races, bolstering candidates like Anthony Brindisi and Antonio Delgado. In 2019, it assisted a successful effort to allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses in New York. The firm, which has expanded into Florida, also scooped up Daily News scribe Ken Lovett in February.

7. Roberto Ramirez, Luis Miranda & John Emrick
Founding Partners, The MirRam Group
President, Hamilton Campaign Network

Key clients: Adriano Espaillat, Letitia James, Bill de Blasio, Eric Gonzalez, Luis Sepúlveda, Marisol Alcantara, Jeffrey Klein, David Carlucci, Tony Avella, Jesse Hamilton, David Valesky, Carmen De La Rosa, Karines Reyes, Robert Rodriguez, Nathalia Fernandez, Mark Gjonaj

The MirRam Group’s Roberto Ramirez, a former Bronx Democratic Party boss, has worked for mayoral candidates Fernando Ferrer and Bill Thompson, while Luis Miranda has represented Hillary Clinton, Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. They backed Letitia James’ state attorney general bid, while the firm’s Hamilton Campaign Network – named after the Broadway hit created by Miranda’s son – has had mixed reviews. The sister company’s John Emrick is a former Independent Democratic Conference aide.

8. Jake Dilemani, Chapin Fay & Charlie King
Senior Vice President; Senior Vice President; Partner
Mercury

Key clients: Dylan Ratigan, Robert Ortt, David Buchwald, Ruben Diaz Jr., Larry Blackmon, Margaret Chin, Robert Cornegy Jr., Chaim Deutsch, Alison Tan

Mercury stands out for advising candidates from both parties. Charlie King is a trusted adviser of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and worked on his 2018 reelection. Chapin Fay is a go-to consultant for state Senate Republicans, who held power until this year. And Jake Dilemani, an alum of The Parkside Group and a seasoned campaigner, helped with Rep. Carolyn Maloney’s 2018 reelection and has also worked for the state Senate Democrats.

9. Scott Levenson
Founder and President
The Advance Group

Key clients: Ruben Diaz Jr., Kat Brezler, Martin Malavé Dilan, Jesse Hamilton, Jeffrey Klein, Diane Savino, Pamela Harris, Walter Mosley, Dan Quart, Robert Rodriguez, Laurie Cumbo, Mathieu Eugene, Mark Gjonaj, Kamillah Hanks, Ydanis Rodriguez

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, eh? The Advance Group president has kept a low profile since his activities advising an anti-horse carriage group in 2013 drew scrutiny and led to fines. But Scott Levenson bounced back, helping Bronx politician Mark Gjonaj win a New York City Council seat in 2017, and working with Assemblyman Dan Quart, a potential Manhattan district attorney candidate, and Staten Island state Sen. Diane Savino, the ultimate Albany survivor.

10. Jennifer Cunningham & Morgan Hook
Partner; Managing Director
SKDKnickerbocker

Key clients: Joseph Morelle, Eric Schneiderman,Christine Quinn,Ben Walsh, Aaron Gladd

Same-sex marriage was passed just eight years ago in New York, thanks partly to SKDKnickerbocker’s efforts. Jennifer Cunningham transforms complex polling data into compelling messages for candidates, including Todd Kaminsky, Christine Quinn and Scott Stringer. Along with Morgan Hook, a top official in then-Gov. David Paterson’s administration, Cunningham’s firm notched prominent victories this year, including codifying Roe v. Wade in state law and restoring health care funding.

11. Maggie Moran
Managing Partner
Kivvit

Key client: Andrew Cuomo

With his former campaign manager and one of his best friends found guilty following a monthslong corruption trial, Gov. Andrew Cuomo needed someone to run his reelection effort. Enter Maggie Moran, who had plenty of experience managing campaigns in New Jersey for Gov. Jon Corzine and Sen. Frank Lautenberg. Moran officially worked for Cuomo through a new firm called BlueStrat, but she also heads Kivvit, which ran a successful campaign against a state constitutional convention.

12. John Del Cecato
Partner
AKPD Message and Media

Key clients: Kathleen Rice, Bill de Blasio, Laura Curran, Thomas DiNapoli, Gregory Lasak

The Obama ad guru came up with the ad that may have won Bill de Blasio the 2013 New York City mayoral primary and continued to shape his messages throughout his first term. These days the AKPD veteran is no longer in de Blasio’s inner circle, instead using his talents to help 2020 rival Pete Buttigieg. He has also shaped communications strategies for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.

13. John McLaughlin
CEO and Partner
McLaughlin & Associates

Key clients: Donald Trump, Chele Chiavacci Farley, Pete King, John Faso, Lee Zeldin, Keith Wofford, Rob Astorino, Scott Vanderhoef, Steven Neuhaus, Betty Little, Tom Basile

Donald Trump often acts as his own political consultant – for better or worse. But when he wants some help planning a presidential campaign and polling the electorate, he relies on longtime strategist John McLaughlin. When he isn’t advising the Trump 2020 campaign, McLaughlin wades into U.S. Senate GOP primary challenges (to Mitch McConnell’s dismay). He helped get Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reelected earlier this year.

14. Tony Fabrizio
Partner
Fabrizio, Lee & Associates

Key client: Donald Trump

Donald Trump’s most trusted pollster was one of the few, along with John McLaughlin, to survive a recent purge after internal numbers showing the president’s weakness in several states leaked to the press. But Tony Fabrizio has been around long enough to weather Trump’s moods and Trump understands his importance in finding the pulse of the electorate – although he has an atypical way of showing it by disputing a $766,000 bill for Fabrizio’s services.

15. Ed Peavy
Founder and Managing Partner
Mission Control

Key clients: Sean Patrick Maloney, Monica Martinez, Mark Gjonaj

When candidates launching their campaigns need a top-notch direct mail expert, they often rely on Mission Control. The firm, headed by campaign veteran Ed Peavy, has offices in Washington, D.C., Connecticut, California and Colorado, and has experience working for national candidates like Hillary Clinton and congressional candidates in swing states. It’s a major player in New York as well, with major clients like the state Democratic Party and the Suffolk County Democratic Committee.

16. Andrew Bleeker
Founder and President
Bully Pulpit Interactive

Key clients: Andrew Cuomo, Kathy Hochul

As political campaigns go digital, the services of Washington, D.C.-based Bully Pulpit Interactive are in high demand. Andrew Bleeker’s firm, which also has offices in New York City as well as Chicago and San Francisco, was brought on to assist with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s reelection campaign last year, earning close to $2 million working for the governor and the state Democratic Committee in 2018. The firm also has major corporate clients like Uber and Airbnb.

17. Peter Brown & Chris Miller
Partners
BrownMillerGroup

Key clients: Don Boyajian, Cynthia Nixon, Zephyr Teachout, Jesse Hamilton, Jen Metzger, Steven Cymbrowitz, Nader Sayegh, Laura Curran, Ken Jenkins, Cyrus Vance Jr., Mark Gjonaj, Kalman Yeger

Since Peter Brown and Chris Miller launched BrownMillerGroup in 2011, they’ve made their mark in the direct mail campaign business while encompassing digital work as well. Brown worked on Bill Thompson’s surprisingly strong 2009 New York City mayoral bid, and an early client of the firm was Eliot Spitzer, who made a comeback bid running for city comptroller in 2013. More recently, BrownMillerGroup helped Democrats retake the state Senate, working with candidates like Jen Metzger.

18. Jerry Skurnik & Stuart Osnow
Partners
Prime New York

Key clients: Andrew Cuomo, Eliot Engel, Peter Abbate Jr., Gale Brewer, Mathieu Eugene, Robert Holden, Ydanis Rodriguez, Eric Ulrich

There may be no team that knows demographic changes down to the block level better than Jerry Skurnik and Stuart Osnow. Since 1988, the Prime New York partners, who purchase voter data and sell enhanced information to campaigns, have helped candidates strategize how they can get the most votes out of their districts and analyze election results. Skurnik can also explain how the mood of the electorate is shifting before candidates realize what’s happening.

19. Kim DiTomasso
President
Ditto Consulting

Key clients: Nita Lowey, Shelley Mayer, Pete Harckham, Amy Paulin, George Latimer, Mike Spano, Noam Bramson

For Westchester County Democrats seeking public office, Kim DiTomasso’s Ditto Consulting is a go-to hire. The firm has worked for such political heavyweights as Rep. Nita Lowey, the influential chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee; George Latimer, who flipped the county executive’s office from red to blue in 2017; state Sen. Shelley Mayer; and Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, who’s on track to serve a third term after his primary victory in June.

20. Alex Voetsch & Jeffrey Guillot
Partners
Millennial Strategies

Key clients: Julia Salazar, Jumaane Williams, Elaine DiMasi, Richard Bashner, Mike Scala, Athena Moore, Bessie Schachter, Jorge Vasquez

They’re millennials with a mission. Alex Voetsch and Jeffrey Guillot, who founded Millennial Strategies in 2013, count Planned Parenthood, the New York League of Conservation Voters, the United Federation of Teachers and Common Cause among its clients. But they’re known in political circles for helping Jumaane Williams win the New York City public advocate race this year. Their firm deploys “paperless canvassing” with mobile phones and apps to get real-time responses in the field.

21. Will Deegan & Brendan Klein
Partners
North Shore Strategies

Key clients: Perry Gershon, Max Rose, Steven Bellone, George Maragos, Timothy Sini, Alison Tan, Peter Abbate Jr., Brian Barnwell, Catalina Cruz, Charles Fall, Félix Ortiz

The dynamic duo at North Shore Strategies is helping make the state a more progressive place. Will Deegan and Brendan Klein are experts at analyzing voter data, microtargeting and developing messages for candidates through digital platforms, but they don’t take field work or direct mail for granted. The firm has helped newcomers like Max Rose, Catalina Cruz and Brian Barnwell notch unexpected upsets. They also helped Farah Louis win her New York City Council seat.

22. Jimmy Siegel
Partner
Siegel Strategies

Key clients: Andrew Cuomo, Adem Bunkeddeko, Sean Patrick Maloney, Jeffrey Klein

One of the best TV men in the business, Jimmy Siegel has worked with icons like Derek Jeter while creating powerful commercials for Eliot Spitzer, Michael Bloomberg’s gun control and anti-soda efforts, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s reelection campaign. (His last spot on Cuomo’s immigration policies got unwanted attention in 2017.) You’ll see a lot of his work in 2020 – he’s trying to help Democrats take the U.S. Senate and Bloomberg boost candidates who will fight climate change.

23. Taryn Rosenkranz
Founder and CEO
New Blue Interactive

Key clients: Andrew Cuomo, Antonio Delgado, Nita Lowey, Nate McMurray, Joseph Morelle, Jerrold Nadler, Max Rose, Paul Tonko

The digital strategy firm New Blue Interactive is known for deploying its digital prowess on behalf of Democratic candidates across the country. Taryn Rosenkranz, who previously was the managing director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, has done campaign work for top House Democrats in New York, including Reps. Jerrold Nadler and Nita Lowey. This past cycle, New Blue Interactive also counted Gov. Andrew Cuomo as a client as he won a third term.

24. Kristie Stiles
President
Stiles Partners

Key clients: Eric Schneiderman, Ruben Diaz Jr.

Kristie Stiles has been on campaigns for everyone from former Rep. Charles Rangel to former New York City Comptroller Bill Thompson to ex-governors Eliot Spitzer and David Paterson. A managing director at the powerhouse consulting firm Mercury, she is also a top campaign consultant at her own firm, Stiles Partners, working for Eric Schneiderman up until his political demise and, in the 2021 cycle, handling Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.’s mayoral bid.

25. Lis Smith
Democratic communications consultant

Key clients: Andrew Cuomo, Eric Gonzalez

It’s not an exaggeration to suggest that Lis Smith is almost single-handedly keeping Pete Buttigieg in the top half of the polls in the Democratic presidential primary. It wouldn’t be the first time. Smith helped Eliot Spitzer’s near-resurrection to almost win the New York City comptroller job and then handled rapid response for Barack Obama and Andrew Cuomo. We wonder if New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio regrets not hiring her.

26. Prisca Salazar-Rodriguez
New York Director
Hilltop Public Solutions

Key clients: Bill de Blasio, Cynthia Nixon, Carlos Menchaca, Vincent Gentile

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s former director of scheduling and operations (who had the formidable task of keeping her boss on time) is the latest administration alum to join Hilltop Public Solutions, the firm known for engineering de Blasio’s 2013 primary victory and mayoral win. With Bill Hyers and Rebecca Katz leaving Hilltop in recent months, the Bronx native has a chance to make her own mark running the firm’s New York office.

27. Patrick B. Jenkins
Founder
Patrick B. Jenkins & Associates

Key clients: Carl Heastie, Kevin Parker

Patrick B. Jenkins is known for his ties to Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, his friend and former college roommate, and has served as one of the Bronx’s top political consultants. But the Queens native’s work extends much further, with experience on mayoral, gubernatorial and attorney general campaigns. His firm, founded in 2009, recently worked for Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, state Sens. Jamaal Bailey and Kevin Parker, and an array of corporate clients like Uber.

28. Evan Thies and Alexis Grenell
Co-founders
Pythia Public

Key clients: Zephyr Teachout, Todd Kaminsky, Ama Dwimoh

The Brooklyn-based firm Pythia Public has carved out a space in progressive politics, boosting candidates like Todd Kaminsky, Zephyr Teachout and Madeline Singas. Alexis Grenell advised Zephyr Teachout’s surprising congressional candidacy and her follow-up run for attorney general, then went on to pressure state lawmakers to advance the Child Victims Act and combat sexual harassment. Evan Thies helped Democrats take the state Senate and is hoping to elevate Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams to City Hall in 2021.

29. Monica Klein & Elana Leopold
Founding Partners
Seneca Strategies

Key clients: Liuba Grechen Shirley, Cynthia Nixon, Jessica Ramos, Tiffany Cabán

Monica Klein and Elana Leopold may be new to consulting, only launching their firm Seneca Strategies in 2018. But the native New Yorkers and de Blasio administration and campaign alums got excellent press when they snapped up one of the most high-profile political clients of 2018 in Cynthia Nixon. They also worked on Liuba Grechen Shirley’s congressional campaign, Jessica Ramos’ and Julia Salazar’s successful state Senate bids and Tiffany Cabán’s run for Queens district attorney.

30. Barry Caro
Managing Partner
Bartholomew Communications & Strategies

Key clients: Pete Harckham, George Latimer, Thomas Roach, Thom Kleiner

Barry Caro made a name for himself in New York politics handling communications for Noam Bramson’s 2013 challenge against then-Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino. Caro went on to guide a string of progressive candidates to victory in local, state and congressional races in the Hudson Valley and in Pennsylvania. He also played a role in flipping the state Senate, helping Pete Harckham take a Republican-held seat.

31. Vince Casale & Lynn Krogh
Co-owners
The Casale Group

Key client: Marc Molinaro

When Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro was running an uphill challenge last year against Gov. Andrew Cuomo, he called Lynn Krogh. The Troy native and Cooperstown resident has been entrenched in politics since age 20 and was elected to lead the New York Young Republicans in 2009. She has since teamed up with Otsego County Republican Chairman Vince Casale and is a top operative for conservatives who mount serious statewide runs.

32. Michael Lawler
Partner
Checkmate Strategies

Key clients: John Faso, John DeFrancisco, Julie Killian, Scott Vanderhoef,MaryEllen Odell

The former New York Republican Committee executive director and Rob Astorino’s campaign manager has been advising GOP hopefuls as a partner at Checkmate Strategies. His most high-profile candidate was former state Sen. John DeFrancisco, whose bid for governor stalled last April when his supporters backed Marc Molinaro. Lately the Orangetown GOP chairman is wading into the contested Rockland County district attorney’s race in support of Tom Walsh, a Democrat who is taking the Republican line.

33. Tyquana Henderson-Rivers
Founder
Connective Strategies

Key clients: Andrew Cuomo, Gregory Meeks, Adrienne Adams, Cordell Cleare

Connective Strategies is an apt name for the Queens consultant and Brooklyn native who seems to know just about everyone in both boroughs. Tyquana Henderson-Rivers manages her fair share of New York City Council campaigns in Queens and other local races, but also joined Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s reelection campaign last year. This year, she is helping Queens Borough President Melinda Katz in a fierce fight to become Queens district attorney.

34. William F.B. O’Reilly & Jessica Proud
Partners
The November Team

Key clients: Dan Donovan, James O’Donnell, Marc Molinaro, John DeFrancisco, Rob Astorino, Paul Massey

The charismatic conservative duo has advised New York’s Republican politicos since 2013, when they co-founded The November Team. There haven’t been many Novembers to remember after William O’Reilly’s client Rob Astorino lost his seat in 2017, and Republicans lost the state Senate in 2018, spurring Republican Party leaders to drop party Chairman Edward Cox in favor of Erie County’s Nicholas Langworthy. Now Jessica Proud (a spokeswoman for the state GOP) is helping the party get back on track.

35. Phil Singer
Founder and Managing Director
Marathon Strategies

Key client: Michael Bloomberg’s Independence USA PAC

Phil Singer’s brand is crisis. The Marathon Strategies founder and managing director has been putting out fires since organizing White House tours in Robert Torricelli’s U.S. Senate office. He has advised John Kerry’s and Hillary Clinton’s presidential runs and helped both Andrew Cuomo and Charles Schumer rack up victories in New York. His 2020 thoughts? Singer has high praise for Cory Booker’s “stamina” and sharp barbs for Bill de Blasio, whose “personality is not endearing.”

36. Bill Hyers
Partner
Win

Key client: Jumaane Williams

Bill de Blasio’s 2013 campaign manager and one of his “agents of the city” has left Hilltop Public Solutions for greener pastures: his own firm, The Win Co. There Bill Hyers has made compelling ads for Jumaane Williams as well as non-New York candidates Randy Bryce and Kevin de Leon. But you won’t find Hyers working on de Blasio’s presidential run – he’s been thinking about helping another mayor, Pete Buttigieg, instead.

37. Rebecca Katz
Founder
New Deal Strategies

The former de Blasio adviser and Hilltop Public Strategies principal steered Cynthia Nixon’s gubernatorial bid last year. In February, Katz founded a new firm, New Deal Strategies – billed as “political consultants for the left” – and published a column in The Nation urging consultants to stop shilling for corporate clients. She has also defended Bill de Blasio’s presidential run, saying it’s a “fresh start” but that he shouldn’t forget his day job.

38. Richard Fife

Key clients: Robert Jackson, Bill Perkins

Perhaps best known as David Paterson’s 2010 campaign manager, Richard Fife has more recently secured hard fought wins in Bill Perkins’ 2017 New York City Council campaign and last year’s state Senate bid by Robert Jackson, who ousted former Independent Democratic Conference member Marisol Alcantara. The veteran Harlem consultant is also assisting Alvin Bragg in what is shaping up to be a crowded field of candidates taking on Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.

39. Lupe Todd-Medina
President
Effective Media Strategies

Key clients: Andrew Cuomo, Eric Gonzalez, Robert Rodriguez

The Democratic strategist’s stock has risen as steadily as her former top client, Hakeem Jeffries, who in November became the fifth-most powerful member of the House of Representatives. Lupe Todd-Medina founded Effective Media Strategies six years ago, steering Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez past a crop of challengers in 2017 and shoring up Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s base in the outer boroughs in 2018. She has sage advice for Bill de Blasio’s presidential chances – if he’ll listen.

40. George Arzt
President
George Arzt Communications

Key client: Carolyn Maloney, Martin Malavé Dilan, Jesse Hamilton, Félix Ortiz

The former New York Post journalist and Ed Koch press secretary is a political sage dispensing advice to prospective politicians and to those who should know better. Take the mayor whose presidential chances Arzt puts at “below the 10% threshold” or the governor who Arzt says has been in a tough spot over driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants. While he primarily handles public relations, he helped Rep. Carolyn Maloney fend of a primary challenge last year.

41. Hank Sheinkopf
Principal
Sheinkopf Communications

Key clients: George Maragos, Mathylde Frontus

Guaranteeing the outcome of a campaign would require divine intervention – but if that doesn’t work, candidates can rely upon the advice of an ordained rabbi. Hank Sheinkopf has worked for hundreds of candidates, including Michael Bloomberg and Bill Clinton. Now more of a pundit than a political consultant, he’s quick to quip about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s latest viral remark, Bill de Blasio’s dismal poll numbers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s legislative negotiating strategy.

42. L. Joy Williams
Founder and Principal
LJW Strategies

Key client: Cynthia Nixon

The powerhouse strategist and political commentator has deep roots in progressive politics. In addition to being the Brooklyn NAACP president, L. Joy Williams speaks at Netroots Nation almost every year and hosts a civics education podcast called “Sunday Civics.” After advising Cynthia Nixon’s gubernatorial campaign last year, she’s been a vocal leader pushing for recreational marijuana legalization and decriminalization and what reparations for slavery would actually look like in the 21st century.

43. Rob Ryan

Key client: Nicole Malliotakis

The charismatic conservative ran Nicole Malliotakis’ surprisingly energetic mayoral campaign in 2017. Now that the Staten Island assemblywoman has her eye on the next race – a shot at challenging Rep. Max Rose – Rob Ryan can help strategize her game plan while he waits for a “black or Hispanic Arnold Schwarzenegger.” He’ll have to get Malliotakis past Michael Grimm first, but he’s already collecting money from GOP bigwigs, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

44. Michael Nieves

Key clients: Guillermo Linares, Javier Nieves, Hiram Monserrate

Michael Nieves had a long career in politics before he took over as president and CEO of HITN, a nonprofit Spanish-language TV network, in 2015. But he still keeps up on the latest New York political developments, in part by taking on campaign work on the side, primarily for Latino candidates. Nieves has worked for former Bronx boss José Rivera, Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez, New York City Councilman Robert Cornegy Jr. and former Rep. Charles Rangel.

45. Peter Kauffmann
Founder and Principal
Bluejacket Strategies

Key clients: Leecia Eve, Juanita Perez Williams

Peter Kauffmann is a wizened Albany sage even though he’s still relatively young. The former press secretary for then-U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton and a past adviser for Gov. Andrew Cuomo launched Kauffmann Public Affairs in 2013 before changing its name last summer to Bluejacket Strategies. This past session, Kauffmann raised concerns about the political implications of driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants and argued that Queens can’t afford to lose Amazon.

46. Jack O’Donnell
President
O’Donnell & Associates

Key client: Letitia James

Jack O’Donnell is one of Western New York’s go-to consultants – just ask Letitia James. The founder of his own consulting firm has had the ear of Hillary Clinton and worked for Charles Schumer and Thomas DiNapoli. He used to spend so much time in New York City and Albany that The Buffalo News started referring to the Bolton-St. Johns partner as an “expat,” but he’s returned home with his family.

47. Michael Caputo

Key client: David DiPietro

The Buffalo native has always been more of a conservative wingman, advising Carl Paladino’s gubernatorial bid and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign (briefly), than taking the whole bird for himself. But after fending off Robert Mueller and defending Trump against impeachment-hungry Democrats, Caputo is mulling a primary challenge against Rep. Chris Collins, who hasn’t decided if he’ll run again despite an insider trading trial next year. Roger Stone may even be available to help out Caputo.

48. Jessica Bassett

Democrats in the North Country who need help know to turn to Jessica Bassett, who has lengthy roots in the Plattsburgh area and served as a gubernatorial liaison to the region. Last year, she advised several candidates interested in unseating Rep. Elise Stefanik, who will surely be a prime target for Democrats next year. The SKDKnickerbocker alumna also worked on Speak Out Central New York, an independent expenditure campaign in the 22nd and 24th congressional districts.

49. David Catalfamo
President
Capitol Public Strategies

Key client: Marc Molinaro

The GOP guru and Pataki whisperer had a seismic year personally and professionally in 2018. Three months after getting married to fellow lister Jessica Proud, he left Al D’Amato’s firm Park Strategies to help Marc Molinaro run for governor. (D’Amato was supporting Cuomo.) Even though Molinaro lost big, don’t feel too bad for Catalfamo. He was named Oneida County economic development director in February.

50. E. O’Brien Murray
Founder
Red Barn Strategies

Key clients: Jack Martins, Keith Wofford

The veteran Republican operative managed Bob Turner’s upset congressional campaign in 2011 with almost no money and followed that up with steering Simcha Felder’s winning state Senate campaign. The Pataki and Giuliani veteran went on to run successful campaigns for Jack Martins and Nan Hayworth in 2014. He also ran Keith Wofford’s state attorney general bid and boosted GOP turnout with a pro-Amazon ad criticizing the mayor to help Eric Ulrich’s public advocate campaign in February.

Corrections: This post been updated to reflect additional clients of E. O'Brien Murray. The post also incorrectly stated the state legislation that Alexis Grenell of Pythia Public has pushed for. She pushed for the passage of the Child Victims Act. The post has corrected the name of Tyquana Henderson-Rivers. The post has removed Antonio Delgado, Anthony Brindisi and Dana Balter as key clients of Metropolitan Public Strategies. The firm did work on their behalf through an independent expenditure, but they were not direct clients. The post has been updated to clarify the Rep. Hakeem Jeffries is a former client of Lupe Todd-Medina. An earlier version of this post also incorrectly stated that Keith Wofford was a client of one of the three Mercury staffers on this list.   

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