89Nicole Davidman Drewniak
Called the "backbone" of GOP and Christie fundraising, she works closely with Hanson by day and hobnobs with top business and political leaders by night. A quiet evening at home would be spent with husband Michael, no doubt discussing the day's events for Christie's inner circle.
The acquisition of his firm by Mack-Cali drove home the wisdom in the kind of real estate Goldberg built: recession-resistant multifamily buildings in solid markets. One of those markets, Port Imperial, will be the site of future F1 races, although Goldberg lost some luster with the cancellation of the 2013 race.
"There are literally events I don't think we should plan for," the FirstEnergy president said after subsidiary JCP&L's poor performance in Irene. If this oracle wants to keep his job, it should mean loosening the purse strings for New Jersey projects, which could help JCP&L's woebegone image.
"There's no bigger advocate for the Meadowlands … he's Meadowlands-crazed," an insider says of Kirkos, who cheerleads for New Jersey as it aims to get a fair share of the Super Bowl. The source calls Kirkos "a partner" on discussions of the big game and Wrestlemania. His chamber is among the state's largest.
Booker's "policy brain" is an "all-star," who was Newark's lead negotiator on the UMDNJ-Rutgers merger and advises the mayor on issues from budget to ex-offender re-entry efforts. If a woman needs to be rescued from a burning building and Booker's not around, Klapper can handle that too; he has experience as a professional firefighter and EMT.
"The mechanic who's putting the deal together" between New Jersey and Triple Five, according to a source watching the negotiations. Hanson is the strategist at the head of the table; Lang, a capital markets expert with LMW2, "sits at his right-hand side and gets it done."
83Jay Biggins/Ted Zangari
They draw widespread praise for their work in economic development policy. One source calls Zangari "the meat and potatoes" behind incentives like Urban Transit Hub; another calls Biggins "a great resource to understand, really, the big picture behind business in New Jersey. … They've looked to Jay a lot for advice and direction."
The ink on the ex-EPA chief's resignation letter hadn't yet dried when the rumors of a gubernatorial campaign took hold. Then again, she's a prominent Democrat, so that isn't telling by itself. But with her strong background and credentials, expect Jackson to be a player in Trenton in the very near future.
A bunch of high-paid campaign consultants will gather demographics and other stats to help their gubernatorial candidate win in 2013. But the numbers Elcenko compiles will be far more important in the election. Each month, the state Labor Department worker crunches the unemployment stats, one of the most-watched economic barometers.Click here to read 80-71 on the list.Click here to read the list from the beginning.Correction appended: Wes Lang's company name was incorrect in an earlier version of this story and has been corrected.