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#15 on list of Tampa Bay’s Most Powerful Politicians — Janet Long

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Janet Long, the feisty Pinellas County Commissioner, has taken the lead on the commission in trying to get regional transit talks revived in the Tampa Bay area.

Long was re-elected to another four-year term last year, after riding the wave of the anti-fluoride sentiment which brought down Pinellas Republicans Neil Brickfield and Nancy Bostock (to Charlie Justice) in 2012.

Dubbed ‘the straight talk express’ by consultant Barry Edwards for her frank talk, she told Mayor Rick Kriseman earlier this year that she doesn’t support more CRA money for the Pier, saying, “CRA’s, from my understanding, are put in place to try to help take care of blight in a community,” Long said. “Frankly, I don’t see anywhere I go in downtown right now that could be considered blight. Downtown St. Pete is humming. It’s going to be humming whether there’s a new Pier or not.”

Long makes the biggest advancement in the poll this year, going from 24 last year to No.15 in 2017.

Joe Henderson’s Take

“Her leap from 24 last year to 15 is much deserved. I might have even had her up a notch or two. I wish all politicians were like her, and not just because she says what exactly is on her minds in words that cannot be misinterpreted. Ask St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman about that. She also is a champion for regional transportation cooperation and not afraid to say it out loud.”

For a complete explanation of how this list was created and who made up the panel that amassed it, please read here.


Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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