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Fifth annual list of Tampa Bay’s 25 Most Powerful Politicians

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Now in its fifth year, SaintPetersBlog/ is offering its annual list of the Most Powerful Politicians in Tampa Bay.

In compiling the 2017 list, queried several of the region’s leading political consultants, activists, bloggers, operatives and local lobbyists to name who they consider the 25 most powerful pols in the area. No suggested names were provided.

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

Among those on the 2017 panel: Tucker/Hall president Bill Carlson, columnist Joe Henderson, Travis Norton of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce, former state Rep. Edwin Narain, investigative journalist Alan Cohn, Strategic Campaigns founder Nick Janovsky, Momentum Strategy Group president Brock Mikosky, Matt Florell of St. Pete Polls, Laura Boehmer of Southern Strategy Group, former state Rep. Seth McKeel, also of Southern Strategy Group, political consultants Carrie Henriquez and Michelle Schorsch.

Being listed first on a panelist’s list earned 25 points, second earned 24 points and so on. Listing as 25th received one point. Points were then added up and — voilà — the list was created.

In the top four or five slots might be who you’d expect. But once you pass that, the list starts to get truly fascinating.

And a few names not included could indeed be a surprise.

With that introduction, we ask you to please stay tuned to throughout the week as we count down the 25 most influential political figures in Tampa Bay. Follow the list on Twitter with #Top25InTB.

#1 — Jack Latvala

#2 — Richard Corcoran

#3 — Bob Buckhorn

#4 — Bill Galvano

#5 — Jeff Brandes

#6 — Wilton Simpson

#7 — Rick Kriseman

#8 — Kathy Castor

#9 — Chris Sprowls


#10 — Tom Lee

#11 — Darryl Rouson

#12 — Dana Young

#13 — Charlie Crist

#14 — Bob Gualtieri

#15 — Janet Long

#16 — Gus Bilirakis

#17 — Ken Hagan

#18 — Dennis Ross

#19 — Janet Cruz

#20 — Bernie McCabe

#21 — Mike Suarez

#22 — Sandy Murman

#23 — Ken Welch

#24 — Darden Rice

#25 — Yolie Capin





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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