85.3 F
75.6 F
78.9 F
73.1 F

2024 Power & Influence 50: Numbers 41-50

Today, we’re proud to introduce the first 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.

Derek Trotter, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings

Derek Trotter is a seasoned political professional who has earned quite the view of the political process from a young age. Derek has worked as a campaign expert, Chief of Staff to Senate President Pro Tem Greg Reed, a member of the governor’s staff, and currently, as a Senior Advisor at Bradley. He’s already known to members of the Alabama Legislature as a source of solid advice, known to his clients as an expert in relationships and effective solutions. He had a strong 2024 legislative session and will have many more to come. His presence will continue to grow in Montgomery and beyond.

Hal Bloom, The Bloom Group

With more than three decades in the Alabama political landscape under his belt, Hal Bloom has become a maestro of the legislative process. Bloom has remained Alabama’s true first call when influence is needed in Montgomery. Whether it’s been in roles that shaped policy as a top strategist for legislative leaders or the architect of large projects that required an appreciation of details very small – Bloom has not simply navigated the system – he’s shaped it. He literally wrote the book on it. For one of the kindest and most humble figures at the State House, we’re eager to hear how he gets out of this description.

Jared White, Auburn University

It’s common knowledge that Jared White oversees the Governmental Affairs division for Auburn University and advises the Board of Trustees on political matters spanning from Montgomery to Washington. He’s served in various positions across the executive branch, including as Director of Legislative Affairs under Governor Kay Ivey. He’s an elite communicator, policy mind and practitioner of politics. But perhaps what is less known about Jared White is that the foundation of his exceptional work ethic can be traced back to the discipline and determination he developed through his pursuit of athletic excellence in college. A two-time All-SEC first-team student swimmer and diver, a five-time NCAA All-American, former NCAA record holder, and a x3 alumnus of Auburn – no one outworks White.

Clay Loftin, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Alabama

He’s learned from the very best. He keeps up with the very best. And Clay is becoming the very best himself. As a lobbyist for the state’s largest insurer, his personality is a good fit: He covers everything. Nothing gets past Clay. His ability to create and nourish relationships is second nature and his knowledge of policy is coveted. This translates into a cutting edge political instinct that needs no explanation. He has and will continue to leverage that instinct to the benefit of the full ambit of Alabama’s business community. In his inaugural debut to this list, we suspect Clay Loftin will continue to appear as his experience grows and his influence expands. 

Steve Livingston, Alabama Senate Majority Leader

To those paying close attention to the Alabama Senate, it should’ve come as no surprise that Steve Livingston was chosen to lead the majority when the job became available last year. After winning against Todd Greeson in the 2014 primary, Livingston arrived at the State House respected and connected. Since then, his friendly, calm, and serious demeanor has accrued influence among the ranks of his colleagues in a chamber that values those traits highly. He maintains strong relationships with fellow North Alabama lawmakers, including Speaker Ledbetter. As Majority Leader, Livingston will run point on the effort to keep Senate Republican incumbents in their seats in 2026. This is a fitting task for a Senator known for keeping everyone on the same page.

Dax Swatek, Swatek, Vaughn & Bryan

One of the true originals, Dax Swatek has never been afraid of the tough battles. Seriously. He was running Republican campaigns in the ‘90s and has been hooked on scoring underdog upsets ever since. Now as one of the go-to government relations professionals in Alabama, he dives head first into every legislative session and proves himself in a new way each time. Executives and associations come to Dax because they want to win. They trust his insight, his relationships, his data, and the whole host of resources he’s proven capable of deploying to their advantage. Dax Swatek has reliably appeared on this list for over ten years for good reason. 

Chase Wright, Spire Energy 

Now in his fifth year representing Spire across Alabama government, Chase Wright has carved out a niche as an influential voice on policy issues related to utilities and plenty more. He’s observant, a smart communicator, and intentional in his relationships both with lawmakers and fellow government relations professionals. He’s also a company man, sixteen years strong. For a company that stakes its claim on reliability and commitment, Chase Wright is the embodiment of their mission at the Alabama State House. 

Mark Drew, Protective Life Corporation

Mark Drew leads Protective Life’s legal and political team. He serves as a key fixture in the business community’s approach to governmental affairs, tort reform, and economic development. Drew is always one of the smartest people in the room, especially when it comes to the courts. Protective Life is one of the largest companies in the state and has a strong pedigree of former CEOs and others who’ve had a tremendous impact on the political landscape of the state. Drew is a respected and influential business and political figure. He is highly accomplished. But underpinning his appearance on this year’s list – Drew is also highly dedicated to making a difference in Alabama. 

Jason Isbell, Regions Bank

Regions Bank, Alabama’s financial sector, as well as the state’s business community at large, is fortunate to have Jason speaking and influencing on their behalf in Montgomery. A decorated veteran of the Alabama State House, he brings to bear vast experience from both the public and private sector as a legal, financial and governmental affairs professional in his conversations with lawmakers and decisionmakers. In his role with Regions, Jason’s domain extends to the many state houses and capitols in which the company maintains a presence. But if you ask those who know him best, for Jason – Alabama is home. As a representative of one of the Southeast’s most trustworthy institutions, it is fitting that Jason is among the most trustworthy figures in Alabama politics. 

Greg Butrus, Balch & Bingham 

In his tenth consecutive year appearing on Power & Influence, it’s a good time to mention that Greg Butrus is still one of the most politically influential attorneys in the state – and it’s not even close. He has a monopoly on a lot of dynamics that don’t exist anywhere else: A regulatory and campaign finance expert with a deep understanding of the power players themselves, an attorney good enough to bill in increments of 30 seconds with a sincere generosity for offering insight, and a big wig with an even bigger sense of humor. His legal counsel is trusted by a vast array of elected, appointed and permanent officials, as well as executives, consultants and lobbyists at the highest levels. Butrus’ attention is its own form of currency. 

RELATED: 2024 Power & Influence: Who’s Next? 

Don’t miss out!  Subscribe today to have Alabama’s leading headlines delivered to your inbox.