Capitol Weekly’s Top 100: Carrie Cornwell

Illustration by Chris Shary

29. Carrie Cornwell

Carrie Cornwell is chief of staff to Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, and in the world of the Capitol that’s a big deal. Cornwell’s job, of course, is to manage the speaker’s staff. But she does a lot more than that: She is the point person for the speaker’s legislative program, pushing his priorities and fighting proposals he opposes. She deals with the flock of lobbyists who target the Capitol, she’s first among equals of the staff chiefs of the individual electeds and she or her office handle the regular Monday morning briefings that coordinate all the members’ staffs. She has strong political antennae – no surprise there – and she gave valuable advice when a coup attempt against Rendon sputtered this year. 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. 9, 2022

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