“OC,” as he is known around Montgomery, would have probably held a top 10 spot on this list a decade ago when he was running the Business Council of Alabama and was House Speaker Seth Hammett’s right-hand-man. Then his influence waned for a period of time before he saw potential in a little-known gubernatorial candidate from Tuscaloosa named Robert Bentley. He’s ridden the wave right back into the top 10, earning himself a second act near the top of the Alabama political pecking order.
O’Connor is in on everything that Gov. Bentley’s team is working on. If they’re considering a policy initiative, he’s right in the middle of the discussion. If the re-election campaign is strategizing or fundraising, he’s steering the ship.
There is a small group of informal advisers who are extremely influential in helping chart the course for the governor. O’Conner is leading many of those high level discussions. He’s basically the Chief of Staff for Bentley’s Kitchen Cabinet.
With another four years on the horizon for the Bentley Administration, O’Connor is well positioned to keep rising.