Capitol Weekly’s Top 100: Minnie Santillan

Minnie Santillan. Illustration by Chris Shary for Capitol Weekly

52. Minnie Santillan

Politics is a family business in the Rubio family, with Susan Rubio serving in the Senate and sister Blanca Rubio holding office in the Assembly, the first sisters to be elected to the Legislature. A third sister, Sylvia, lost a run at the Assembly in 2020. Minnie Santillan is chief of staff for Blanca, a member of the so-called “new Democrats,” or as they are more commonly known now, “the Mods.” This group of pro-business Dems has become a force inside the Legislature, and Santillan has an outside role in what does and does not make it onto their legislative agenda. In short, if you want to get your issue on that list, Santillan is the person to talk to. It is a role she has filled before in her previous job as chief to Assemblymember Henry Perea, and friend and foe alike considers her a very shrewd tactician with more than her share of moxie. She has handled multiple Assembly, Senate and congressional campaigns up and down the valley, served as a consultant to former Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez and as chief consultant to the Latino Legislative Caucus.

Updated Aug. 15, 2023

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