30. Joseph Mondello
2013 Power List
Some may have dismissed this kingmaker’s power a decade ago when Democrats won county executive seats and legislative majorities in Nassau and Suffolk counties for the first time in a generation. But those who dared do that have since learned that Chairman Mondello is always a force to be reckoned with. He turned back the tide four years ago when the GOP ousted the Dems and won back the legislature and executive seat in this historically Republican stronghold. Considering how increasingly difficult it is for the right wing to win in such a reliable blue state like New York, he may have his work cut out for him keeping Ed Mangano in the county’s top job this November, but Ol’ Joe has proven plenty of naysayers wrong before.