“Power is a lot like real estate,” says Rep. Francis Underwood in the political drama House of Cards. “It’s all about location, location, location. The closer you are to the source, the higher your property value.”

Underwood is a fictional character, but in the real world of politics his words often hold true. In New York, proximity to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who holds the state’s highest elected office, can serve as an indicator of political clout. Nearly a dozen people on this year’s list owe their jobs directly to the governor, and many others are highly ranked largely because of their connections to him or to other state power brokers. Even those who have earned election to a high level office generally owe their position to key patrons and mentors who helped them climb the rungs of power. Cuomo himself grew up with a father who was governor, after all.

However, simply being close to a powerful figure does not always mean that one is powerful as a result. Dozens of state commissioners and agency heads are nowhere to be found on this list. Sandra Lee, the governor’s longtime girlfriend, did not make the cut, and Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy just squeezed on to it for a second consecutive year at No. 100.

As Rep. Underwood notes in a later episode, “Proximity to power deludes some into thinking they wield it.”

To give our readers an accurate portrayal of who really holds sway in Albany politics, City & State presents its second annual Albany Power 100. Of course, any list of this sort is bound to generate criticism and controversy. We acknowledge that our ranking is imperfect—yet it is not arbitrary. Off-the-record conversations with many of the state’s most savvy political insiders helped us arrive at a list that we hope will resound with the people who know the score as well as anyone—our readers.

Commissioner of Education of the State of New York

43

John King


Last Year's Rank: n/a

Change: New

Albany Bureau Chief, New York Daily News

44

Kenneth Lovett


Last Year's Rank: 79

Change: +35

Assemblyman; Chair, Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus

45

Karim Camara


Last Year's Rank: 50

Change: +5

Host, The Capitol Pressroom; WCNY News and Public Affairs Director

46

Susan Arbetter


Last Year's Rank: 76

Change: +30

Executive Director, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

47

Patrick Foye


Last Year's Rank: 57

Change: +10

Governor’s Director of Communications

48

Melissa DeRosa


Last Year's Rank: 68

Change: +20

Founder and President, Kasirer Consulting

49

Suri Kasirer


Last Year's Rank: 51

Change: +2

Westchester County Executive

50

Rob Astorino


Last Year's Rank: n/a

Change: New

Chief Judge of the State of New York

51

Jonathan Lippman


Last Year's Rank: 38

Change: -13

Founder, Metropolitan Strategies; Chief Strategist, State Democratic Committee Coordinated Campaign

52

Neal Kwatra


Last Year's Rank: n/a

Change: New

President, Real Estate Board of New York

53

Steven Spinola


Last Year's Rank: 61

Change: +8

Partner, The Parkside Group

54

Evan Stavisky


Last Year's Rank: 54

Change: No Change

Chancellor, State University of New York

55

Nancy Zimpher


Last Year's Rank: N/A

Change: New

Mayor of Syracuse

56

Stephanie Miner


Last Year's Rank: 58

Change: +2

State Senator

57

Diane Savino


Last Year's Rank: 60

Change: +3

Partner, Bolton-St. Johns

58

Emily Giske


Last Year's Rank: 63

Change: +5

President and CEO, The Business Council of New York State

59

Heather Briccetti


Last Year's Rank: 67

Change: +8

President, New York State United Teachers

60

Karen Magee


Last Year's Rank: n/a

Change: New

Cardinal; Archbishop of New York

61

Timothy Dolan


Last Year's Rank: 21

Change: -40

Columnist, New York Daily News

62

Bill Hammond


Last Year's Rank: 70

Change: +8

Founder and Managing Director, Park Strategies

63

Alfonse D'Amato


Last Year's Rank: 92

Change: +29