30. Carrie Cornwell
Speaking of opposite numbers, Carrie Cornwell is to Speaker Anthony Rendon as Nick Hardeman is to Senate Leader Toni Atkins. Cornwell was Rendon’s staff chief when he was a rank-and-file lawmaker, and she kept the position when he moved into the speaker’s office. Cornwell pushes the speaker’s legislative priorities, serves as a sounding board, weighs in on who is hired or fired, and generally serves as a managerial presence to the other staff chiefs of the rank-and-file members. Cornwell served for nine years as chief consultant to the state Senate’s Transportation and Housing Committee and, then on the Assembly’s version of that same committee. She was chief of staff to former state Schools Superintendent Tom Torlakson when he was in the Assembly and, later, as a state senator. She came to the Capitol as an Assembly fellow and has degrees from Princeton and UCLA.
Updated Aug. 25, 2021