Best Lobbyist (2000)
New Houston Port Commission Chair Jim Edmonds
If he wasn't the best-known municipal lobbyist before he was elevated to the prestigious chairmanship in June, he will be now. For years affable, low-key Jim Edmonds has run with the big boys, ranging from developer Walter Mischer to financial guru Tom Masterson to previous port chair Ned Holmes, pouring the best whiskey, hosting good-'ol-boy birding trips (they shoot 'em rather than watch 'em), and in general lubricating the gears of Houston power politics. Although he has graduated from gofer to go-to player, Edmonds says he plans to keep on lobbying at City Hall, where clients Perry Homes and The Woodlands will likely be supplemented by new customers looking for an advocate with a big bat and the power to make the heavyweights return his phone calls.