Capitol Weekly’s Top 100: Courtni Pugh

Illustration by Chris Shary

96. Courtni Pugh

The past year was a mixed bag for veteran campaign strategist Courtni Pugh. As part of the team effort to defeat the 2021 Recall of Gov. Newsom, she helped score a 23 point blowout win. But, as the top advisor for Kevin De León’s campaign for mayor of Los Angeles, she got thumped: De León managed less than 8% of the vote, coming in a distant third behind frontrunners Karen Bass and Rick Caruso. Pugh doesn’t shy away from uphill battles; She also backed De León in his unlikely effort to unseat incumbent U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein in 2018 and worked on Mike Bloomberg’s ill-fated 2020 presidential campaign after future VP Kamala Harris folded her tent. The former executive director of SEIU Local 99, Pugh is a seasoned political organizer and brings a wealth of experience to her campaigns. One public affairs strategist described her as a go-to person for Democratic campaigns, essential for getting endorsements and helping navigate party machinery.

Updated Aug. 9, 2022

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