Steve Cona made the right decision dropping out of Hillsborough Commission race

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Perhaps lost in all of the political developments which occurred last week – Friday in particular – was the news that local good guy Steve Cona has dropped out of the race for the Hillsborough County Commission.

Unfortunately, or fortunately as the case may be, I could not agree more with Cona’s decision.

Steve was running against Kevin Beckner, who has emerged lately as somewhat of a Goliath in Tampa Bay politics. As a candidate, Cona, the chief operating officer of Florida Gulf Coast Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors, was not yet even a David.

Better for Cona to save his slingshot for another day.

As Mitch Perry observed, Cona’s dropping out appears to be good news for Beckner, as Cona was considered the mainstream Republican in the race. Margaret Iuculano is more conservative, and now is the only candidate in the primary for the countywide seat.

Actually, Iuculano is not just “more conservative”, she’s a rabid right-winger, who has already attempted to play the gay-card against Beckner.  It will be rewarding to see Beckner serve her a comeuppance.

In the meantime, let’s hope Steve Cona remains active in local politics and prepares for the next opportunity.  Talking to him, he sounds like he’s got the right perspective on what lies ahead, “”I have no regrets, I will continue to push for good policy as a private citizen.”

We’ll see you around soon, Steve.

One post-script: a gentle zing of my friend Brock Mikosky, who has now had two candidates, Cona and US Senate candidate Craig Miller, drop out of their races very early in the cycle.

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.