Bipartisan national political magazine, Campaigns & Elections, has completed a list of 500 influential political insiders and the names of several Arkansas Republican and Democratic consultants and politicos made the cut.
C&E says it conducted more than 100 interviews with consultants, journalists and political insiders from across the country.
“The result, which we’re calling The Influencers 500, is a collection of some of the top names in the consulting business state by state,” the magazine noted.
Here is the Arkansas Who’s Who and what Campaigns & Elections had to say about them:
Beth Coulson, fundraiser. One of the state’s top rainmakers, Coulson’s a person that if you have her blessing, and she hosts an event for you, people will show up with checkbooks in hand.
Robert McLarty, president, Markham Group. His work ranges from consulting on presidential campaigns in Eastern Europe to running the successful effort for voters to approve a hike in Little Rock’s sales tax last year.
Ben Noble, founder and president, Noble Strategies, Inc. An under-40 lobbyist but of the old school: a Blue Dog in the vein of Bumpers and Berry, he embodies the gentlemanly Southern Democrat. He has key clients with deep pockets and long arms.
Skip Rutherford, University of Arkansas. Rutherford is a deep-rooted insider in Arkansas politics with longstanding connections to Sen. David Pryor and former President Bill Clinton.
Debbie Willhite, founder, DkW Strategies. She’s a long-time consultant for Democratic candidates and progressive issues dating from her time on the Clinton-Gore campaign.
Keith Emis, partner, Diamond State Consulting. His firm kicked the asses of the traditional GOP guys in the last round of primaries. They’re a force to be reckoned with.
Kenneth Ryan James, principal, Paynal Consulting. James still has a way to go in the Arkansas political world, but he’s plugged in with Rep. Tim Griffin, who is now considered a GOP kingmaker in Arkansas.
Clint Reed, partner, Impact Management Group. As a former executive director of the Republican Party of Arkansas, he knows his way around. Reed has some clients who are destined for big things, including state Rep.Terry Rice.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, principal, Tsamoutales Strategies. Huckabee earned her stripes in the family business and is now part of the state’s Republican brain trust.
Bill Vickery, consultant and radio host. It would be difficult to imagine a more wired guy on the GOP side. Vickery has a weekly radio show and a local TV time slot too.
You can access the full list at this link.