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Coming Monday — 3rd annual ranking of Tampa Bay’s 25 Most Powerful Politicians

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

After reading a 2012 article from Scott Maxwell of the Orlando Sentinel about the most powerful pols in Central Florida, I thought it would be interesting to determine who, in fact, are the 25 most powerful politicians in Tampa Bay.

So I asked several of the leading political consultants, activists, bloggers, operatives and local lobbyists to provide a list of who they consider the 25 most powerful pols in the region.

For the purposes of this experiment, the Tampa Bay region is defined as Pinellas, Hillsborough, and Pasco, but can also include Hernando, Polk or Sarasota — if the politicians from those counties impact either Pinellas or Hillborough.

Being listed first on a panelist’s list earns the politican 25 points, being listed second earned them 24 points and so on to where being listed twenty-fifth earned a politician one point. The points will be added up and, voila, the list will be created.

For the last two years, House Speaker Will Weatherford has sat atop the top spot in our rankings, but now that he’s out of office, the #1 ranking is up for grabs. Who will it be? A congressman? A state legislator? A mayor?

Please check back on beginning March 2 as we countdown Tampa Bay’s most powerful politicians.

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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