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2024 Power & Influence 50: Numbers 40-31

Today, we’re proud to introduce the second installment of the 2024 Power & Influence 50 – the twelfth annual tradition from Yellowhammer News.

As the dust settles from this year’s legislative session, our team has spent time talking with key leaders and operatives across state government to offer an inside look into the top individuals who are leveraging their power and influence for those they represent in the Yellowhammer State. The list factors recent policy and political developments and includes Alabama business leaders, lobbyists, consultants, and elected officials.

2024 Power & Influence numbers 50-41 can be found here. Our 2024 ‘Who’s Next?’ list can be found here

Jess Skaggs, Office of the Lieutenant Governor

Much like his boss, Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth, Jess Skaggs is a tireless worker and fun to be around. Skaggs grew up in Montgomery and has devoted his professional career to understanding how it runs. He’s worked in and around the State House for over ten years, he knows policy and how to communicate it, and proved effective in helping Ainsworth accomplish his ambitious legislative agenda last session. Now in his fifth year on Ainsworth’s staff, and his second as Chief, we predict Skaggs’ continual ascension on this list with 2026 just around the corner.

Charlie Taylor, The University of Alabama System

In his graduation from Power & Influence: ‘Who’s Next?’ to the real deal – Charlie Taylor is likely to cement himself on this list now as Vice Chancellor for External Affairs for the almighty University of Alabama System and its three powerhouse campuses. A graduate of the University of Alabama and the University of Alabama School of Law, Charlie embodies the Capstone. And he knows Montgomery. With a proven stomach for politics, a sharp eye for superior public relations, and a list of contacts on speed dial that could send seasoned pros into retirement – Charlie is a prodigy. In his ascension on this list, he’s likely to embody a core Nick Saban preachment: Always put the team first.

Philip Bryan, Swatek Vaughn & Bryan

Over ten years ago, we wrote that Philip Bryan was a high-energy, high-impact leader who set the table in the higher chamber and bridged the gap to the lower chamber during his time as Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh’s Chief of Staff. We said he was an operator, a strategic player, and a fierce advocate. In terms of his ability to exert power and influence, not much has changed. Philip Bryan posts gains year after year. Which is why he continues to be a priceless asset to his bench of clients and a mainstay on this list. After all this time, there is still no trick in the book that he hasn’t seen.

John Ross, Windom, Galliher & Associates

Since 2010, the Alabama Legislature is the house that John Ross built. His cemented talent as a political operator continues to pay dividends in his work as a government relations powerhouse session after session. Put subtly, he’s a close confidant to decisionmakers at the highest levels. Put plainly, he’s one of the most likable people you’ll ever meet. John’s standing and credibility across the memberships of both chambers is accelerated like napalm by an inexhaustible work ethic that simply does not extinguish. He will continue to make history.

Scott Stadthagen, Alabama House Majority Leader

In his second year as Alabama House Majority leader, Stadthagen has gained ground. Last year, we wrote that his fast-track production of power has been defined by ingenuity, relationships and a willingness to take risks. This has continued to be the case. And we suspect those factors will continue to his ascent on this list. Stadthagen deepened relationships with caucus members this session, increased his visibility from the House floor, and reportedly will yield his floor time in caucus meetings to any member that wishes to speak rather than insisting he stay center stage.

Bobby Singleton, Alabama Senate Minority Leader

Last year, we said Singleton is to the floor of the Alabama State Senate as Leonardo Da Vinci was to the Renaissance. There may never be as crafty of a wordsmith, both in tempo and timing in the higher chamber, as the gentleman from Greensboro. In addition to the influence he has on the debate clock, Singleton has exerted himself into the Legislature’s seasonal discussion on gaming with been-there-done-that confidence. He’s also managed the internal dynamics of a competitive congressional election for Democrats as members of the minority caucuses across chambers sought his support. First elected over 20 years ago – Singleton does not crack.

Jeremy Walker, Alabama Association of Realtors

Jeremy Walker doesn’t need a crystal ball to see the future. He commits the time, talent, resources and effort to always be one step ahead of those unlucky enough to find themselves on the opposite side of an issue or campaign as him. His wise stewardship of the Alabama Realtors Association’s political capital has paid dividends in election cycles and legislative sessions past – and more to come. He knows winners when he sees them. And he’s prepared to take the tough fights to the line on behalf of the business community. Watch this space for further gains from Jeremy Walker.

Greg Jones, The Jones Miller Group

A returning favorite to the list, Greg Jones has increased his political capital while remaining far and beyond the best dressed man at the Alabama State House since our last installment. As always, his connections offer a readymade advantage for his clients. But this session, he’s navigated an expanded portfolio of clients through the legislative process with ease. But just because he makes it look easy, doesn’t mean he isn’t finessing harder than anyone. In his latest miracle, Jones reminded everyone he can still put time on the clock when minutes are precious. For these reasons and more, his stock continues to rise.

Ben Patterson, Fine Geddie & Associates

Ben Patterson knows the Alabama Senate. And the Alabama Senate knows Ben Patterson. He’s an expert on the higher chamber, not just as a matter of understanding it, but the personal and political dynamics that often dictate its tempo. By the time you think you need to know something – Patterson has likely already sketched out how it ends. That reliability and intellect, combined with the direct line to those in power, account for his solidification on our list for as long as he likes.

Taylor Williams, PowerSouth Energy Cooperative

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get others interested in you.” – Dale Carnegie

Simply put, “T.W.” as he’s called, lives by this rule. Ask anybody. He’s well connected, well respected and one of the most influential people in Alabama. For good reason. For one, he speaks for PowerSouth, an energy supplier serving more than one million customers in 39 Alabama counties and Florida as their top external and governmental affairs pointman. But particularly, because Williams is intentional to everyone he deals with. Leaders on the local, state and federal level don’t hesitate to pick up the phone when he calls. He’s plugged into business groups in every corner of the state and has been part of some of the most significant economic development projects of the past decade.

RELATED: 2024 Power & Influence 50: Numbers 41-50

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