Albany power 100

Who are the most powerful people in state politics?

It’s not an easy question to answer.

Power is an amorphous concept, defined differently by different people. So as we at City & State compiled this year’s list, we identified a few general principles to guide the process.

One criterion is an individual’s track record: What bills has a governor or lawmaker passed? What policies have top aides, advocates or activists shaped? What programs have top deputies or commissioners run, and how effectively have they carried them out?

Another criterion is a public figure’s capacity to effect change. The governorship of New York, for example, is a powerful office, and the current occupant has tested its limits. Others who have been appointed or elected to influential roles have not fully capitalized on them – at least, not yet.

A related factor is one’s constituency. The mayor of New York City has faced obstacles in Albany, but the fact that he runs a government serving around 8.5 million people means he cannot be ignored. Others – elected officials and leaders of unions or corporations – also have a responsibility to represent their constituents and empower them.

Finally, we took into account proximity to power – Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s ever-changing inner circle, longtime allies of legislative leaders, loyalists of the new president who hails from New York.

As we applied these principles, we reached out to trusted sources, reviewed major news developments over the past year and spent hours debating where each and every person on this list deserved to fall.

So without further ado, we present the 2017 Albany Power 100.

State Director, Working Families Party

100

Bill Lipton


Last Year's Rank: 91

Change: Down 9

Lieutenant Governor

99

Kathy Hochul


Last Year's Rank: 88

Change: Down 11

Dutchess County Executive

98

Marcus Molinaro


Last Year's Rank: N/A

Change: New to list

Director, Siena College Research Institute

97

Don Levy


Last Year's Rank: 97

Change: No change

Archbishop of New York

96

Timothy Dolan


Last Year's Rank: 96

Change: No change

Research Director, Empire Center for Public Policy

95

E.J. McMahon


Last Year's Rank: 95

Change: No change

CEO, Tonio Burgos & Associates

94

Tonio Burgos


Last Year's Rank: N/A

Change: New to list

Chairman, State Republican Party

93

Ed Cox


Last Year's Rank: 89

Change: Down 4

Partner, The Parkside Group

92

Evan Stavisky


Last Year's Rank: 71

Change: Down 21

New York Secretary of State

91

Rossana Rosado


Last Year's Rank: N/A

Change: New to list

Chief of Staff to the Governor

90

Maria Comella


Last Year's Rank: N/A

Change: New to list

Chief Enforcement Counsel, State Board of Elections

89

Risa Sugarman


Last Year's Rank: 69

Change: Down 20

State Senate Deputy Minority Leader

88

Michael Gianaris


Last Year's Rank: 60

Change: Down 28

President and CEO, New York Power Authority

87

Gil Quiniones


Last Year's Rank: 87

Change: No change

Chief Investment Officer, State Comptroller's Office

86

Vicki Fuller


Last Year's Rank: 86

Change: No change

Program and Policy Secretary, Assembly Democratic Conference

85

Lou Ann Ciccone


Last Year's Rank: 85

Change: No change

Chief Judge, State Court of Appeals

84

Janet DiFiore


Last Year's Rank: 84

Change: No change

Executive Director, State Democratic Party

83

Basil Smikle


Last Year's Rank: 74

Change: Down 9

Assemblyman

82

Marcos Crespo


Last Year's Rank: 72

Change: Down 10

State Director, AARP

81

Beth Finkel


Last Year's Rank: 81

Change: No change

President, 32BJ SEIU

80

Héctor Figueroa


Last Year's Rank: 48

Change: Down 32