89. Mike Madrid
What to do when the political party you spent your entire professional career helping to build takes a turn down a path you just can’t follow? That was the conundrum facing Mike Madrid, a longtime GOP consultant, Latino communications strategist and onetime political director for the California Republican Party. He’s also a Never-Trumper, and during and after the 2016 election, Madrid took the communications skills he’d honed in the service of old-school GOP leaders like Jim Brulte and turned them on Donald Trump and his enablers, blasting the blatant White Nationalism emanating from that wing of the party. Madrid became part of a collective of disaffected Republican operatives that formed the anti-Trump Lincoln Project. Their ads have hit home as election season heats up, and are effectively targeting both Trump and Trump-accommodating Republicans (like Sen. Susan Collins of Maine) in tough races throughout the country. When not busy getting under the president’s skin, Madrid documented his ongoing battle with a family of squirrels who had moved into the eaves of his house; thousands followed along on Twitter, a light spot in an otherwise dark year.
Updated Aug. 11, 2020