No. 2: Capitol Weekly’s Top 100

Illustration by Chris Shary

2. Anne Gust Brown

It’s tricky to describe Anne Gust Brown’s official title. First Lady? Special Counsel? Adviser? All of the above? In any case, the influence she wields over husband Jerry Brown affects much that goes on in the Golden State, and she’s been at the top of this list since Brown returned to the governor’s office. But this year we’ve listed her as No. 2, in part because we’re told she’s diverting some of her attention away from governance and politics to focus on issues relating to the Brown family property near Colusa, which includes a 2,500-acre ranch. Clearly, she’s still involved, just not to the degree that she was earlier in the administration. While the governor’s veto or signature can often be difficult to predict, Gust Brown’s insight is always a part of his policy considerations. Gust Brown’s name was floated in the Capitol when Gov. Brown was seeking an A. G. to replace Kamala Harris. When the Sacramento Bee asked the governor if his wife was in the running for the gig, he simply replied, “My wife is fully employed.”

Updated Aug. 29, 2o17

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