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#24 on list of Tampa Bay’s Most Powerful Politicians — Darden Rice

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

The current St. Petersburg City Council Chair is sitting pretty as she looks to be re-elected this fall to another four-year term, quickly rebounding from being diagnosed with breast cancer in late January.

Darden Rice led the efforts to enact local campaign finance reform, and was a leader on getting the council to commit to transitioning to a goal of 100 percent clean, renewable energy, becoming the first state in Florida to make such a commitment.

“Darden Rice embodies what’s known in the political world as the ‘total package,’” says Mark Ferrulo, the head of Progress Florida.

“On the campaign trail, she’s indefatigable, unflappable, a tour de force of fundraising prowess paired with a grasp of the issues and ability to articulate them that only a few other Bay area politicians can rival. In representing her District 4 neighborhoods, Darden is proactively accessible, eminently sincere and, in part because of her deep roots in the community, not just politically invested but also personally invested in policies and initiatives that improve quality of life for all who live and work in St. Pete. Her political future is as bright as the sun that shines on the city she champions every day.”

Rice did not make the list in 2016.

Joe Henderson’s Take

“I was actually shocked to find this is her first time on the list. Living in Tampa, I don’t cross paths much with her but I can say this: Things seemed to get better when she joined the St. Pete City Council in 2013. She seems to be in the right place at the right time, given her strong environmental leanings in a city that depends on beaches, waterways and tourism.”

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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