83. Ace Smith
Ace Smith is one of the best in the biz – if your business is electoral politics. Smith is a 30-year veteran of state and national campaigns, and has worked for household names like Clinton (both of them), Feinstein, and Brown (Jerry). The other Brown, Willie, once called Smith the “Dems’ ace in the hole.” Kamala Harris tapped Smith’s firm (then called SCN Strategies, now SCRB Strategies) to run her winning 2016 Senate campaign, and again for her 2019 presidential campaign. Her bid started strong, with a showstopping Oakland campaign launch which drew an estimated 20,000 supporters on January 27, but ultimately ground to a halt after a bruising nine months. Hey, you can’t win ‘em all. We’d be remiss if we didn’t note that a big part of SCRB’s success are the other principals: Sean Clegg, Juan Rodriguez and Laphonza Butler, each of whom are stars in their own right, and both Clegg and Butler have been on this list before.
Updated Aug 11, 2020