Putting together our annual Power 100 list for Albany is a lot of fun. We talk to sources we trust and get pitches from people – some with clear agendas and others with opaque objectives – that leave us scratching our heads. In the end, we take all the information we’ve gathered and have some grand discussions (even a few heated yelling matches) over who should be on the list, or who should be on top. This year we spent roughly 14 hours talking through the list in a series of seven meetings over the course of two months.

I mention all this because I want you to know how seriously we take this list. And not just because it’s fun, but because understanding who has influence and power helps shed at least a little light on why some things get done, and others don’t. And, as our list makes clear, almost nothing in Albany gets done solely on merit. It requires political maneuvering that often involves a handful of people, if not dozens, weighing in and helping craft a final decision – whether it’s a bill, a budget allocation or an implementation of policy.

Times may be changing, though. The overarching trend we noticed is that lobbyists, fundraisers and top lawmakers don’t have as tight a grip on control. This I think we can directly attribute to the string of corruption convictions and plethora of investigations coming from the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. While the fear of Preet hasn’t halted traditional Albany government operations, it definitely has leveled the playing field a little. Advocates, rank-and-file lawmakers and many other politicos who have long been ignored now feel like they have a little bit more power to get things done. That sentiment played heavily into making this list, which includes more members of the state Legislature than in past years and a wider range of advocates at the expense of some of the prominent campaign fundraisers who may not wield as much power in the new Albany (emphasis on the word “may”).

Like all of our lists, this is a snapshot in time. I have no doubt that there will be large shifts in the coming weeks and months, but right now this is our view of the power structures at the Capitol. Enjoy.

-Michael Gareth Johnson, City & State Editorial Director


Chief Prosecuting Attorney, Riverkeeper


Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Last Year's Rank: N/A

Change: N/A

Chairman, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey


John Degnan

Last Year's Rank: N/A

Change: N/A

Chairwoman, Assembly Education Committee


Cathy Nolan

Last Year's Rank: N/A

Change: N/A

Director, Siena College Research Institute


Don Levy

Last Year's Rank: N/A

Change: N/A

Cardinal, Archbishop of New York


Timothy Dolan

Last Year's Rank: 86

Change: -10

President, Empire Center for Public Policy


E.J. McMahon

Last Year's Rank: 98

Change: 3

State Senator


Simcha Felder

Last Year's Rank: N/A

Change: N/A

Chairman, Ellicott Development


Carl Paladino

Last Year's Rank: N/A

Change: N/A

Reporter, The Buffalo News


Tom Precious

Last Year's Rank: 51

Change: -41

State Director, Working Families Party


Bill Lipton

Last Year's Rank: N/A

Change: N/A

Co­-Founder and Co­-Editor, Politico States


Josh Benson

Last Year's Rank: N/A

Change: N/A

Chairman, State Republican Party


Edward Cox

Last Year's Rank: 96

Change: 7

Lieutenant Governor


Kathy Hochul

Last Year's Rank: 100

Change: 12

President and CEO, New York Power Authority


Gil Quiniones

Last Year's Rank: N/A

Change: N/A

Chief Investment Officer, State Comptroller’s Office


Vicki Fuller

Last Year's Rank: 69

Change: -17

Program and Policy Secretary, Assembly Democratic Conference


Lou Ann Ciccone

Last Year's Rank: N/A

Change: N/A

Chief Judge


Janet DiFiore

Last Year's Rank: N/A

Change: N/A

General Manager, Uber NYC


Josh Mohrer

Last Year's Rank: N/A

Change: N/A

Chairman, State Senate Transportation Committee


Joseph Robach

Last Year's Rank: N/A

Change: N/A

State Director, AARP NY


Beth Finkel

Last Year's Rank: N/A

Change: N/A

President and CEO, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce


Robert Duffy

Last Year's Rank: 92

Change: 12