While most Democratic consultants have tried to become chameleons since Republicans took control in 2010, Perkins has survived, and even thrived, by sheer force of will.
He has been the leading Democratic consultant in the state for decades, due in part to his role as the Alabama Education Association’s top consultant. He’d be on this list for that alone, but on top of that, he’s also one of Alabama Power’s most trusted strategists. The means Perkins is a central player in two organizations with vast resources being directed toward influencing both elections and legislation in the state.
Perkins is sort of a cult figure in Alabama political circles. The Mobile Press-Register once called his company, Matrix LLC, “the closest thing Alabama politics has to a non-governmental secret agency.” It’s gotten to the point that it’s tough to tell what is myth and what is reality when it comes to the Joe Perkins legend. That’s how he likes it.
The average Alabamian may not know Perkins’ name, but there’s no way you’ve lived in this state at any point over the last twenty years and not seen his work. He’s been shaping the political landscape for a long, long time, and shows no signs of slowing down.