The Yellowhammer Power & Influence 40 is a list of the 40 most powerful and influential players in Alabama politics. For a more in-depth explanation of the list and how it was compiled, click HERE. To see last year’s list click HERE.
Here’s the schedule of when the names will be released:
Monday, Feb. 18: Names 31-40 (View HERE)
Tuesday, Feb. 19: Names 21-30 (View HERE)
Wednesday, Feb. 20: “Who’s Next?” a preview of the next generation of power players
Thursday, Feb. 21: Names 11-20
Friday, Feb. 22: Names 6-10
Monday, Feb. 25: Names 1-5
Today’s names are presented in alphabetical order.
Anderson burst onto the political scene last year and raised a jaw-dropping $5.75 million for Republican candidates and groups in Alabama. She cut her teeth as Co-Director of Fundraising for the Alabama Republican Party under former ALGOP Chairman Mike Hubbard’s leadership, but few people could have predicted her emergence as the premier fundraiser in the state when she ventured out on her own and launched Kate Anderson, LLC. She’s now the go-to fundraiser in Alabama, and it’s not even close. As we head into the 2014 election cycle, no one will be in higher demand than Anderson and her faithful sidekick — and fellow ALGOP alum — Blakely Logan.
Slade Blackwell | State Senator
Blackwell got a lot of attention after he emerged victorious from a fierce primary battle in 2010. He beat a long-time incumbent and earned the opportunity to represent a district packed with influential businessmen and political heavyweights. His business savvy quickly gained him the respect of Republican leadership in the Senate. He has close relationships with a lot of power players to whom most freshmen legislators wouldn’t have much access. Blackwell won’t have to seek out opportunities to run for higher office in the future, people are going to be asking him to run.
Outgoing ALFA President Jerry Newby was on last year’s top 40 list, and the ALFA presidency will continue to be a powerful post with Parnell on the job. He’ll almost undoubtedly be on the Top 40 next year, but he’s just now settling in, and hasn’t yet indicated what changes may be coming to ALFA under his leadership. As we head toward the 2014 election cycle, Parnell’s success — and his ascent up the Top 40 ladder — will likely be determined by his ability to help ALFA better adapt to the new GOP landscape. To this point they’ve been behind the curve, but Parnell is just getting started. People are definitely watching.
Greg Reed | State Senator
In two short years in the Senate, Reed has really sharpened his political skills. He’s Treasurer of the Senate Republican Conference, making him one of only two officers in their caucus structure. Reed came into the Senate with a strong pre-existing relationship with Senate Majority Leader Jabo Waggoner, and his work has only further strengthened their connection. “He’s definitely got future Senate leadership potential,” said one insider. “He really grasps complex issues and is becoming a terrific communicator.”
Scofield is a rock solid conservative who’s not afraid to speak his mind. He’s the youngest member of the Senate, but is already a member of the influential Rules committee. He volunteered for Fob James’ gubernatorial campaign when he was in high school and helped run the campaign in Marshall County, so he’s been living and breathing politics for a long time. He’s the kind of guy who could serve his district as long as he wants. I like to refer to him as “Young Jabo,” a 32 year old version of Senate Majority leader Jabo Waggoner.
Britt Sexton | CEO | Sexton, Inc.
At this point, Sexton has distinguished himself as the top political player in his generation of Alabama businessmen. He quietly goes about his business but is very in tune with AG Luther Strange, U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions, the rest of the Alabama congressional delegation, and many other major Alabama political figures. He also serves on the UA Board of Trustees. The sky is the limit as far as his future political involvement is concerned.
Dale Strong | Chairman | Madison County Commission
There’s a reason Strong has appeared on numerous Yellowhammer lists including the Local Leader 20 and last year’s Power & Influence Up and Comers. He’s the king of the castle in north Alabama. He runs wide open all day, every day. He’s gained a reputation for being extremely responsive to constituents’ needs, and for approaching challenges in innovative ways. He easily won the Chairmanship of the Madison County Commission, but his popularity has spread outside of the county through a network of key influentials around the region. “He’s got aspirations for even bigger things and it’s only a matter of time before he gets there,” said one north Alabama legislator.
Phil Williams | State Senator
Williams’ background as an Army Airborne Ranger is never more evident than in the midst of a tough legislative battle. He’s always willing to be the tip of the spear. His background as an attorney has also served him well when deciphering legislation. No matter how bad Democrat House Minority Leader Craig Ford may want to take a crack at the District 10 Senate seat, he knows he has no chance as long as Williams is around.