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.