No. 63: Capitol Weekly’s Top 100

Illustration by Chris Shary

63: David Townsend

For more than 35 years, David Townsend has been a fixture on the Capitol scene, managing initiative campaigns and advising associations, candidates and corporations on the ins and outs of political decision-making. He founded Townsend Raimundo Besler & Usher, one of Sacramento’s best-known political consulting firms, and now he’s got a new gig at Townsend Calkin Tapio Public Affairs, an amalgam of Townsend, Kelly Calkin and Chris Tapio. Over the years, Townsend’s operation has boasted an 80% win record, and it’s probably true. One of his biggest successes has been the growth of the Mod Dem Caucus — which early on met in Townsend’s Midtown office to plan their political strategy. Townsend and his allies nurtured the “Mod Squad,” making the group a force to be reckoned with. Townsend, who started out as a Capitol consultant, has his fingers in a lot of pies: He’s past president of the board of the Crocker Art Museum and is on the boards of KVIE and the Sacramento Make-A-Wish Foundation as well as the board of Sacramento Women Escaping A Violent Environment.

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