#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.