43. Dana Williamson
Energetic, experienced and well-regarded, Dana Williamson runs her own communications strategy firm, and is obviously good at it. Proof? This year, Williamson is the campaign manager for the ballot initiative backed by out-of-state gambling interests to establish online sports betting in California. This is Proposition 27 – supported by DraftKings, FanDuel and others – that would also raise money for homelessness and mental health care programs, two of the hottest social concerns in California. It may wind up as the highest-spending campaign on the ballot; initial estimates put it at $100 million. She also is the key strategist for state Attorney General Rob Bonta’s election campaign – as she was for Bonta’s predecessor Xavier Becerra. Speaking of close ties, Williamson was a former business associate of Jim DeBoo, who is No. 1 on our list. Our only complaint about Williamson: She rarely returns our phone calls. Oh, well.
Updated Aug. 9, 2022