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Evan Thies

A political consultant and one of the main architects of Adams’s mayoral election, whom Adams described as “the man that captured my voice” and “my brother.”


  • Staffer, New York City Council
  • Staffer, Hillary Clinton
  • Failed candidate, New York City Council
  • Chair, Community Board 1 Sanitation and Environment Committee
  • Worked on Andrew Cuomo’s Attorney General campaign
  • Owner and president, Brooklyn Strategies


  • Co-founder, Pythia Public Affairs
  • Political consultant
  • Lobbyist

There are few people who have played a more important role in Eric Adams’s rise than Evan Thies, a political consultant and one of the main architects of Adams’s election as mayor. According to the New York Times, Thies, Adams, political strategist Nathan Smith, and Adams’s longtime aide Ingrid Lewis-Martin began plotting his path to City Hall when Adams was a state senator. Thies counseled Adams for years on how to line up the necessary funding and political support for a mayoral run, before eventually turning to what the campaign should actually, you know, be about. “The message conversation really starts once you’re about to declare,” he told the New Yorker. Thies shaped Adams’s platform, co-authoring his 100-Point Plan for improving the city according to the Times.

When Adams won the Democratic Party primary in the summer of 2021 and became a shoo-in for mayor, Thies and Nathan Smith took a victory lap, co-authoring an article urging other Democrats to learn from what they considered their winning formula with Adams, one that coupled what they described as his “unassailable authenticity” as a Black man from a working-class background with his “practical, not ideological” campaign. Unlike other Democrats, they wrote, Adams was unafraid of “triggering the loud minority of ‘defund’ [the police] supporters.” To Thies, Adams’s victory in New York City put him on the national stage, and showed that Democrats could win through a combination of appeals to working-class identity and moderate policy. “Eric is going to be great for the DNC heading into the midterms,” Thies said at the Adams’s election night party. “Because him winning will provide protection against the Republican attacks saying Democrats want to defund the police, and because Eric is saying the party should be listening to the voters who have sustained it—the working class of every race and background.” Adams was more direct: “I am the face of the Democratic Party,” he said.

In his victory speech, Adams called Thies “the man that captured my voice” and “my brother.” Thies takes credit for helping persuade the mayor to relax his impenetrable cop persona and to make political hay out of the more vulnerable parts of his biography. If you’ve ever been struck by Adams’s preoccupation with presenting himself as a sort of identitarian personification of working-class New York City (“I know what it is to go to school at night,” he told voters on the campaign trail. “I didn’t go to Harvard and Yale, I went to CUNY and jail”), you can thank Thiel for making “I am you” a central part of the Adams campaign. If you’ve ever noted Adams’s reliance on sharing striking anecdotes of his humble origins—carrying his belongings to school in a garbage bag in case his family was evicted during the school day, hoping for snow so his family could melt it for drinking water when their utilities were cut off—that’s also partly his influence. “Eric, I know your family struggled when you were growing up. Tell me stories,” Thies told the New Yorker he asked Adams, and when Adams divulged the garbage bag story, Thies and Smith knew what to do with it. “Nathan and I were, like, ‘Oh, my God. That’s a striking visual.’ And it went into the stump speech,” Thies said. 

Partly on the strength of his work for Adams, Thies and his company, Pythia Public (which also helped elect one of Adams’s rivals in City government, Comptroller Brad Lander) were named number one on City and State’s 2022 “PR Power” list. Thies also has continued to do lobbying work. In 2019, 2020, and 2023, according to City records, he lobbied City government on behalf of the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids to push through a ban on flavored vapes.  He lobbied on behalf of the Hotel Association of New York City on property taxes in 2021 and 2022. Further back, in 2018, he lobbied City Councilmembers on behalf of the Williams Companies, an Oklahoma natural gas giant, as part of a “grassroots education campaign” concerning a “state-related energy issue.” At the time, Williams was trying to build support for a new fracked gas line in New York Harbor.

After Adams’s election, Thies helped him with his transition but stayed out of City government, instead functioning as a spokesperson for the campaign side of Adams’s operation. In July, when the Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg announced indictments in a straw donor scheme involving the campaign, and again in November when the FBI raided the home of Adams’s chief fundraiser, Brianna Suggs, Thies was the man giving comment to reporters. 

But if Thies was happy to hitch his star to Adams on his way up, more recently, he has been putting some distance between himself and the increasingly beleaguered mayor. At the end of November, he told one reporter he wouldn’t be answering any more questions about Adams’s reelection campaign. “I have never,” he wrote, “been a spokesperson for the 2025 campaign.”

(Thies, who still had “TeamAdamsNYC” in his Twitter bio, did not respond to questions from Hell Gate.)

Last updated: 12/18/2023


Worked on Adams mayoral campaign with

Brianna Suggs

Eric Adams hired her when she was 19. Six and a half years and millions of dollars in mayoral campaign fundraising later, the FBI raided her apartment.

Planned Adams's political rise with

Ingrid Lewis-Martin

Already a legendary and uniquely powerful force within the Adams administration, the mayor's most fiercely loyal deputy stares down a federal investigation into her boss' campaign.

Organized a media scrum at the apartment of

Jordan Coleman

Eric Adams's literal son.

Brianna Suggs

Eric Adams hired her when she was 19. Six and a half years and millions of dollars in mayoral campaign fundraising later, the FBI raided her apartment.

Ingrid Lewis-Martin

Already a legendary and uniquely powerful force within the Adams administration, the mayor's most fiercely loyal deputy stares down a federal investigation into her boss' campaign.

Jordan Coleman

Eric Adams's literal son.

Vito Pitta

The grandson of a hotel union boss whose family law firm is heading Adams's legal defense fund.

Rana Abbasova

Abbasova's job is to keep City Hall friendly with foreign governments. And maybe...they all became a little too friendly.

Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn

Bichotte Hermelyn is helping to stifle progressives at every turn, just how Eric Adams likes it. 

Brendan McGuire

When it comes to fending off a public corruption case, it doesn’t hurt to have a lawyer who has friends in the Southern District.

Max Young

Adams's comms director left the administration to work for Pfizer, but will he come back to help his old boss win reelection in 2025?

Rachel Atcheson

A nice vegan caught up in a nasty campaign finance scandal.

Denise Felipe-Adams

An enthusiastic Adams loyalist dipping her toes into crypto.

Ydanis Rodriguez

A ride-or-die Eric Adams campaign surrogate scored a powerful post overseeing NYC's streets, but so far that has meant taking a back seat to the mayor's bureaucrats.

Winnie Greco

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Jacqui Williams

"Real estate is not to be toyed with here."

Marc Holliday

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John Chell

Shot a man to death in 2008, now in charge of the largest bureau in the NYPD.

Peter Koo

Senior advisor to the Deputy Mayor of Public Safety. What does that even mean, man?

Timothy Pearson

Timothy Pearson is Mayor Adams’s right-hand man—a hand that, at least once, curled into a fist.

Sheena Wright

The nonprofit professional (with a somewhat checkered past) is quickly rising through the ranks at City Hall.

David Banks

One of the Banks brothers, now finds himself at the top of a teetering schools system. 

Louis Molina

As Correction commissioner, he stymied jail oversight and presided over dozens of deaths of people in custody.

Tiffany Raspberry

A lobbyist and long-time friend now has a lot of power in City Hall—and she's not afraid to use it.

Eric Ulrich

Gambling, tow trucks, pizza: the Manhattan DA's indictment against Adams's former building commissioner has it all.

Fabien Levy

Levy has risen in influence as his colleagues in the City Hall press shop have departed, and the deputy mayor runs interference for the mayor in his dealings with the press.

Bernard Adams

Younger brother Bernard Adams couldn't make it past the City's ethics board—but his wife, Sharon, sure did.

Dwayne Montgomery

An old friend the mayor doesn't care to claim, indicted in a straw donor scheme.

Kaz Daughtry

Jeffrey Maddrey's hands-on protégé, now NYPD drone champion.

Edward Caban

The Adams administration's second police commissioner is a team player and a Masonic brother.

Lisa White

Eric Adams's former roommate (or is it landlord?) in charge of NYPD officer morale—too bad she tanks it.

Jeffrey Maddrey

The top uniformed cop in the NYPD, despite a wild history of disciplinary charges.

Philip Banks III

From unindicted co-conspirator in a federal corruption case to Mayor Adams's deputy mayor for public safety in less than a decade.

Sylvia Cowan

Former girlfriend with whom he still owns an apartment.

Tracey Collins

Adams's longtime girlfriend, who lives in Fort Lee, New Jersey, is rarely seen in his presence, and got a cushy promotion and a big raise after he became mayor.

Jenifer Rajkumar

Adams has called her a "beast." She thinks he's “the GOAT." 

Bishop Lamor Whitehead

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Eleonora Srugo

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Robert and Zhan Petrosyants

Fun-loving twins who play host to the mayor at their trendy Italian eatery.

Billy Bildstein

The owner of Avant Gardner and Brooklyn Mirage fought the SLA and won (with help from powerful friends).

Scott Sartiano

How did the owner of Zero Bond score a seat on the Met's board? Probably not based on his resume, which we got our hands on.

Frank Carone

New York City's short king is the most connected man in town.

Steve Cohen

Steve Cohen wants two things—a Mets championship and a casino. Eric Adams can only really help him with one of those.

Tony Argento

New York City's homegrown film studio mogul is a Gotham power broker out of central casting.

Michael Mazzio

Michael Mazzio found himself getting shut out of the lucrative tow truck industry—until he found a friendly ear in City Hall.

Rich Maroko

The head of the Hotel and Gaming Trades Council bet big on Eric Adams becoming mayor. Will it pay off?

Brock Pierce

Crypto-enthusiast who says he's advising Adams on "all things crypto."

Victoria Schneps-Yunis

Queens newspaper magnate whose own rise mirrors that of Adams.

Douglas Durst

Real estate titan who wants to weaken New York City's climate laws.