29. Dana Williamson
We figured that after Dana Williamson left her gig as Gov. Brown’s cabinet secretary, we could drop her from the list and get a new name in the fold. But no such luck. Williamson, now working as private political consultant in Sacramento, is very much Brown’s political adviser and legislative strategist. Everyone we spoke to said Williamson did Brown’s heavy lifting in negotiating the extension of California’s cap-and-trade program – the administration’s highest-priority legislation of the year. Williamson also is tasked with handling Xavier Becerra’s election campaign for attorney general. Becerra, who Brown appointed attorney general to replace Kamala Harris, faces his first statewide election next year. Like Nancy McFadden, (see No. 1), Williamson has PG&E experience. Before becoming cabinet secretary in 2013, she served as a senior adviser to Brown, and she was a deputy communications director and deputy political director for former Gov. Gray Davis.
Updated Aug. 29, 2o17