#5 Stephen Sweeney New Jersey Senate, President
Politics makes for strange bedfellows — or is it just surprising alliances? The Senate president has been a guaranteed top 10 pick for months based on his relationship with Christie, the man most everyone feels he ultimately wants to replace. The two have needed each other for a while — Sweeney to show he is powerful, Christie to show he is bipartisan. That hasn’t changed, even as another potential battle looms with Christie’s recent call for a new round of public employee pension concessions. If you believe Christie has been knocked down a notch, you can only surmise the democratic Sweeney has a slightly stronger play. But Sweeney needs to show he can get things done, and he needs Christie to do that. It’s one reason the pairing works. Another? “I think they have a really strong personal relationship, and that helps them get through a lot,” one insider said.
New Jersey Senate
Last Year's Rank: 19