Now in its fourth year, SaintPetersBlog/FloridaPolitics.com is offering its annual list of the Most Powerful Politicians in Tampa Bay.
In compiling the 2016 list, FloridaPolitics.com queried several of the region’s leading political consultants, activists, bloggers, operatives and local lobbyists to name who they consider the 25 most powerful pols in the area. No suggested names were provided.
For this exercise, the Tampa Bay region is defined as Pinellas, Hillsborough, and Pasco, but can also include Hernando, Polk or Sarasota, particularly if politicians from those counties impact either Pinellas or Hillsborough.
Among those on the 2016 panel: Brian of Bright House Networks, attorney Brian Aungst II, Steve Cona, CEO of Associated Builders and Contractors, Gulf Coast of Florida; consultant Barry Edwards; Democratic strategist Carrie Henriquez; Matt Florell of St. Pete Polls; reporter Janelle Irwin; Ron Pierce of RSA Consulting, Peter Schorsch; lobbyist Alan Suskey of Suskey Consulting, Justin Day of the Advocacy Group at Cardenas Partners; and public affairs consultant Michelle Todd.
Being listed first on a panelist’s list earned 25 points, second earned 24 points and so on. Listing as 25th received one point. Points were then added up and — voilà — the list was created.
In the top four or five slots might be who you’d expect. But once you pass that, the list starts to get truly fascinating.
And a few names not included could indeed be a surprise.
With that introduction, we ask you to please stay tuned to SaintPetersBlog.com throughout the week as we count down the 25 most influential political figures in Tampa Bay. Follow the list on Twitter with #Top25InTB.