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#8 on list of Tampa Bay’s Most Powerful Politicians — Jeff Brandes

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Top 25 8No state legislator likely has as many interests as St. Petersburg state Senator Jeff Brandes, who has continued to exert power as chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee.

Always a prolific lawmaker, the 40-year-old libertarian-leaning legislator introduced 41 separate bills going into the 2016 Session. They included proposals for statewide regulation of ridesharing companies, for banning red-light camera programs, to stop the practice of suspending driver’s licenses, and to reform civil asset forfeiture laws so they require a conviction before a property seizure is final.

He also lucked out when the new Senate map accepted by the court left his Senate District 22 seat relatively intact, avoiding what could have been a scenario like Congressional District 13 with his seat becoming more Democratic-leaning.

Pinellas County political strategist Barry Edwards describes Brandes as a “futurist who is always thinking three-dimensionally.”

Brandes dropped four places from his 2015 showing, going from fourth to eighth.


For a complete explanation of how this list was created and who comprised the panel that assembled 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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