Tampa Bay’s most powerful politicians: #16 – Mark Sharpe

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#16 on the list of Tampa Bay’s most powerful politicians is Hillsborough County Commissioner Mark Sharpe.

“Power, when viewed in the political context, usually brings to mind notions of backroom dealing, steamrolling of competition and retribution against past wrongs.  But power, like leadership, comes in many forms.  There is power in character, power in ideas, power in the ability to stand up for what is right against one’s own self interest.  This is the type of power exuded and practiced by County Commissioner Mark Sharpe that warrants his placement on this list.  Sharpe’s, well deserved, reputation for taking on tough issues and unpopular positions allows him the power to concentrate on results and policy over special interests and politics.  This power has manifested itself in Sharpe’s focus on economic development and contributions to the life science cluster and the burgeoning tech startup community.  Commissioner Sharpe may not win every vote but his independent reputation allows him to change minds and engage the broader community, and that is the best kind of power.” — Former City Council candidate and tech startup investor Tony DeSisto

For a complete explanation of how this list was created and who comprised the panel which 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 SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, 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.