22. Chris Riley

Illustration by Alex Fine
Illustration by Alex Fine

Focus Politics
Age 46
The Hall County native, who is Nathan Deal’s chief of staff, has worked for the governor since his 1992 congressional campaign. That kind of loyalty means that Deal leans on his right-hand man more than do most elected officials, involving Riley in the inner workings of his political decisions and professional affairs— prompting one pundit to call Riley “COO of Nathan Deal Inc.” Some politicos even jokingly even refer to him as Governor Chris Riley.

Done Deal This is the governor’s last term in elected office, which means Riley will soon need a new boss.

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This article originally appeared in our October 2015 issue.