93. Dana Williamson
Dana Williamson, a cabinet secretary in the Brown administration, has seen dramatic shifts since she left the Horseshoe to run her own firm, Grace Public Affairs. She served as a key political adviser to state Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who resigned in March to take an appointment in the Biden administration. In April, Gov. Newsom surprised many (including Sacramento mayor Darrell Steinberg, who was measuring the drapes in the A.G.’s office) by appointing then-Asm. Rob Bonta as Becerra’s replacement. Williamson, who managed Gov. Brown’s Yes on Proposition 57 (Criminal Justice Reform) campaign, was a perfect fit for the progressive, reform-minded Bonta, and is on tap as his campaign manager for the 2022 election. She has close ties to Smart Justice California (see No. 71) and gets at least some of the credit for the $1.6 million Bonta has raised in the three and a half months since his appointment. Speaking of close ties, in September she launched a supergroup of political pros – The Collaborative – that included none other than Jim DeBoo (see no. 1). Nuff said.
Updated Aug. 11, 2o20