What Others Have Said About Garry South…
As Secretary of Agriculture, I needed someone to monitor the political winds surrounding USDA and to separate the merely interesting from the important. Garry South was my point man in this critical mission and he always came through.
— U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Bob Bergland (1977-1981)
Garry South’s insights on California politics and his record of leading Democrats to victory make him one of the most sought-after strategists in the nation.
— U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman (1989-2013)
Democratic Vice Presidential Nominee (2000)
Garry South has proven himself to be an institution when it comes to political campaigns in California. He brings not just conventional wisdom to a campaign, but also a refreshing out-of-the-box intellect and sophistication to political strategy. Any candidate is lucky to have him.
— U.S. Rep. Janice Hahn (2011-Present)
As a guy who cut his campaign teeth in Montana, we’re proud that Garry South has become one of the top Democratic consultants in the country. He combines a scholar’s knowledge of political history with a gunslinger’s skill at political strategy.
— Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer (2005-2013)
I have known Garry South for 20 years and have watched him distinguish himself in the rough-and-tumble world of electoral politics from Washington, DC, to Ohio, to California. His contributions to my Administration as Communications Director were creative, tangible and far-reaching.
— Ohio Gov. Richard F. Celeste (1983-1991)
U.S. Ambassador to India (1997-2001)
Even as a very young man, Garry South exhibited the political acumen and people skills to succeed in the worlds of campaigns and government. That he has done so doesn’t surprise any of us who had the pleasure of working with him at the DNC more than 30 years ago.
— Maine Gov. Kenneth M. Curtis (1967-1974)
Chairman, Democratic National Committee (1977-1978)
U.S. Ambassador to Canada (1979-1981)
It is entirely possible I would not have been elected governor without the strategic brilliance of Garry South. There is literally no better person than Garry when it comes to understanding the relationship between communications, messaging and human behavior.
— California Gov. Gray Davis (1999-2003)
California Lt. Governor (1995-1999)
Garry South is at the top of his field and the top of his game as a political strategist and communications expert. As a longtime friend, I can also say that despite his sometimes ferocious political reputation, Garry is also a generous and thoughtful person.
— California State Controller John Chiang (2007-Present)
Garry South is one of the smartest people in California politics. He knows every aspect of campaigning, from local campaigns to running statewide initiatives and governor’s races. Perhaps most impressive, he is one of the very few Democratic consultants who understands business issues as well as political issues.
— California State Controller Steve Westly (2003-2007)
Garry South is one of those rare consultants with sharp political acumen and a fundamental understanding that at the core of successful politics is healthy relationships, as he has demonstrated over and over with the number of relationships he has with leaders in the business, government, labor, philanthropic and nonprofit communities. Garry is a man of his word: he says what he means and means what he says.
— California State Board of Equalization Member Betty Yee (2004-Present)
As Speaker of the California Assembly in the late 1990s, I came to respect Garry South’s political savvy and expertise in campaign strategy and communications. Garry is widely viewed by thoughtful people on both sides of the aisle as a premiere campaign strategist.
— Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa (2005-2013)
Garry South is a campaign guru like no other. He is widely considered to be one of the top political strategists in this state.
— California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (2011-Present)
Mayor of San Francisco (2003-2011)
Garry South has that rare combination of a tremendous intellect, keen political instinct, and decades of high-profile consulting experience. He provides immediate gravitas to any issue or candidate, and any client would be well served to have him as their consultant.
— California State Sen. Ted Lieu (2011-Present)
Messaging, positioning, strategy and public opinion are all key for businesses to maintain their place in the market. Garry South is truly a genius in these areas and an amazing asset in both the political and business arenas.
— Hope J. Boonshaft
Executive Vice President/External Affairs
Sony Pictures Entertainment (1996-2005)
Garry South is a master at helping private-sector clients achieve results by educating them on how to craft business strategies that reflect the intersects between public opinion, the political system and policymakers. He also brings a refreshing energy and candor to this business that makes working with him a joy.
— Gwyn Bicker
Managing Director of Public Affairs/California
Garry South really knows the political environment in which businesses operate. He brings to the table a keen awareness of public opinion and political realities, and is an incredibly quick study in understanding complex company issues and goals.
— Melba Muscarolas
Senior Vice President, Legislative Affairs/California
Garry South is perhaps the most influential political advisor in California.
— The New York Times
February 12, 2000
Garry South understands voters. Colleagues and rivals say South’s distinctive feature as a strategist is his ability to frame a broad campaign message – and zero in mercilessly on the vulnerabilities of rivals.
— The Wall Street Journal
June 19, 2001
Consultants aren’t usually worth a story, but this one is. Garry South has shown a knack for foiling [former George W. Bush strategist Karl] Rove’s plans. Whoever hires South will get the state of the art.
March 18, 2002
In less than 10 years, Garry South rocketed from obscurity to stardom among the elite of political strategists in California and, thus, in the nation… [In the 2002 gubernatorial race he] even outmaneuvered the White House, forcing the administration into a last-minute scramble.
— Los Angeles Times
March 6, 2002
Garry South is the best California representation of the so-called ‘permanent campaign’ perfected by former President Clinton… the profane holy roller of California Democratic politics.
— San Francisco Chronicle
February 3, 2002
Garry South is a political hard-baller of the first order, a one-man momentum machine.
— The Sacramento Bee
February 15, 1999
Garry South [is in] the front ranks of California’s campaign strategists.
— Political Pulse
June 12, 1998
Garry South rose to fame as the man who got Gray Davis elected governor, and then re-elected. South is smart and focused, and understands the sweet spot in California politics better than anyone I know.
— The Sacramento Bee Political Columnist Dan Weintraub
California Insider Blog
July 19, 2005
Garry South helped make California a basically Democratic state. He’s the only campaign manager in his party in more than 40 years to have steered two winning campaigns for governor.
— Syndicated Political Columnist Tom Elias
September 30, 2005