After sharing the forthcoming list of Tampa Bay’s 25 most powerful politicians with one state representative who noted that neither Hillsborough Sheriff David Gee or Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco were on the list, they said, simply, “That’s insane.”
And therein lies the beauty of list-making …that some do not make the list.
When compiling a list of the 25 most powerful politicians, there is inevitably someone at #26 who probably has a strong argument why they belong instead of someone else.
But, just as only 64 teams (actually, it’s now 68) can play in the NCAA’s March Madness — thereby leaving off some deserving squads — so too must a few politicians be left off this list of the most powerful politicians in Tampa Bay.
Those ‘also receiving votes’, as the phrase goes, were Gee, State Representatives Seth McKeel and Darryl Rouson, Hillsborough County Property Appraiser Bob Henriquez and Pinellas County Commissioner Charlie Justice. Each of these five pols were listed on several panelists’ list, but not on enough to crack the Top 25.
Last year, I thought the composition of the panel impacted who made the list. It skewed a little too Republican, a little too Tallahassee-insider. This year, I corrected for that by inviting more Democrats on to the panel, as well as reporter Mitch Perry. I also invited in a couple of local political observers I don’t always agree with, such as Dr. David McKalip.
In the end, the panel was made up of 12 Republicans, 10 Democrats, three Independents, as well as Michelle and me — two registered Republicans who will be voting for Charlie Crist. In other words, the panel is evenly divided between D’s and R’s.
Reviewing the panel’s work, I now see that it made a collective decision not to include politicians from Polk County on the list, hence Congressman Dennis Ross and Rep. McKeel did not make the cut.
I’ll leave it to readers to decide whether the panel made the right decisions.
In the meantime, I am prepared to deal with the charges of insanity.