We have compiled our 2015 list of the 100+ people in the Missouri public policy process you need to know. A few changes have been made this year – media and legislative staff are not included, unless they were engaged as a campaign consultant as well.
By no means is this the complete list, and the names are in no particular order, but it would be a good start for someone beginning their career in Missouri politics of the people to get to know.
Also this year, instead of a website, we included each person’s twitter handle.
Lastly, thanks to our readers who helped us compile this year’s list – enjoy and please don’t hesitate to tell us who we missed at @MissouriTimes.
Danny Pfeifer | Principal, Catalyst
Building from the ground up Pfeifer has built Catalyst to a multistate firm with one of the youngest and most effective team of lobbyists in Missouri. They were once known as an up-and-coming firm. But Catalyst has arrived. If you need proof, just listen to people ask when strategizing on an issue, asking, “Where is Catalyst on this?”
David McCracken | Associate, Flotron & McIntosh
McCracken is young, but speaks like a lobbyist with decades of experience. Every session he sits through more hours of hearings than most any other lobbyist in Jefferson City, and has learned from the other principals in his firm how to pass legislation and assist his clients in the budget process. Nothing slips by McCracken.
Gregg Keller | Principal, Atlas Strategy
Keller cut his teeth in Missouri Republican politics with the Talent campaigns before becoming a key player in national Republican circles. He has been involved at the highest levels in Washington and is now part of the Walker campaign for president, but in recent years, while making his home in St. Louis, has been an emerging force in state Republican politics as well.
Jack Cardetti | Principal, Tightline Strategies
Cardetti is a veteran of the vast majority of successful Democratic campaigns in the past two decades. He started in politics at an early age and advanced quickly providing counsel to Missouri governors, senators, and countless members of the legislative and executive branch. While his work is now stretched out across the country there is one thing the vast majority of winning Democratic candidates in Missouri have in common: Cardetti.
Jay Atkins | Senior Counsel, Husch Blackwell
Atkins left the Missouri Chamber to work with Husch on an exclusive basis but has maintained his pro business client base in coordinating efforts for Husch’s clients in the Capitol. Atkins is well known by most every legislator as he makes the rounds not just during session but in the interim as well.
Jay Hahn | Contract Lobbyist & Director of Governmental Relations, Missouri Optometric Association
Hahn is an up and coming lobbyist whose growing practice anchored by the Optometric Association is making him one the rising stars in the Missouri lobbying community. Hahn began lobbying young at one of the top positions in Missouri lobbying, and is very likely to be included in any list of people you need to meet in Missouri politics for decades to come.
Jeff Rainford | Rainford & Associates
Rainford is known for his years in the highly successful Slay administration and has now returned to Rainford and Associates which is involved in many economic development matters in the St. Louis area, including the new stadium, which makes him someone you must know in Missouri politics. He is also a frequent guest on all of the political shows in and around St. Louis, allowing him to use his wit and communication skills to make him even more valuable to his lucrative list of clients.
Jeff Roorda | Business Manager, St Louis Police Officers Association
Roorda is now known as the outspoken defender of police in the St. Louis area after last year’s riots and demonstrations in St. Louis. He is well known in Jefferson City after serving for 8 years in the Missouri House and still has a political base in Jefferson County running for the county legislature in 2016.
Mark Woolbright | Vice President, IAFF 2nd District
Woolbright is a rising star in the national IAFF with deep roots in Missouri. He is former alderman in St. Ann, and deftly uses his experience as an elected official to work with city, county, and state officials from across Missouri and now the midwest. He will be a key player in the Bridgeton Landfill issue, and has more direct influence on more political races than almost anyone on the list. The firefighters have a legitimate at the table heavyweight in Woolbright.
Megan Shackelford | Director of Communications and Public Relations, The Kelley Group
The person on this list with perhaps the brightest future in Missouri politics is Megan Shackelford. She was at the top of the amazingly complex Stenger campaign and is rising quickly through the ranks of Democratic consulting. Her portfolio with the Kelley Group includes corporate consulting and will be at the front of the top Democratic campaigns in the state. Shackelford’s talent has her in high demand among STL Democrats.
Richard Callow | Public Eye
Callow is a legendary figure in St. Louis. A relationship with him is something of a litmus test among the St. Louis political circles as proof that you are “on the inside.” He has a one of the greatest strategic minds in politics and gets to exhibit those skills as the chief political strategist for St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay. Callow also has a roster of corporate clients, and if you can, get him to take you to other political offices. Lastly, if there is anyone in Missouri to avoid crossing, its Mr. Callow. (Photo submitted.)
Richard McIntosh | CEO/Prinicpal, Flotron & McIntosh
McIntosh may know the Missouri budget process better than anyone in the state. This isn’t a secret to anyone in the Capitol anymore, but when a business or interest group needs help in the budget process, Flotron & McIntosh is the go to firm in Missouri.
Yancy Williams | President, Issue Advocacy Group
Many know Williams as the chief of staff to senate budget chairman Kurt Schaefer, but many more in central Missouri know him as talented Republican operative who has the ability to move the needle in races, and an very good at keeping his ear to the ground on messaging. While Schaefer is formidable all on his own, it’s hard to imagine his time in the senate without his trusted No. 2.