Steve Contorno, National Political Correspondent

Steve Contorno

National Political Correspondent

I'm the National Political Correspondent for the Tampa Bay Times. It's my job to tell you what is going on in Washington that might affect you as a Floridian. Above all else, I want to hold your government and elected representatives in Congress accountable. Maybe you'll also learn something interesting or funny from me, too. I grew up just outside Chicago, went to the University of Illinois and covered politics and government in Illinois, Wisconsin, Virginia and Washington, D.C., before joining the Tampa Bay Times as a PolitiFact writer in 2013. I may have started in a notoriously corrupt state, but I've learned grift and greed don't end at state boundaries. And neither do the good intentions of well-meaning people. Your emails and tips keep me going (as do black coffee, Chipotle and dreams of witnessing a Chicago Bears Super Bowl).

Does the Democratic nominee in 2020 need to be a person of color? Andrew Gillum doesn’t think so.

Former gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum speaks during a press conference with the Florida Democratic Party and Forward Florida Action Partnership about registering voters in Florida at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida on Thursday, May 16, 2019.  [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
In a wide ranging interview, Gillum discusses his Twitter feud with John Morgan, whether he’ll endorse in the Democratic primary and Ron DeSantis’ first six months.

How Florida members of Congress voted on historic LGBTQ protection bill

Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, flanked by Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif., left, and Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., speaks to advocates for LGBTQ rights as they rally before a vote in the House on the
Democrats blast Rep. Ross Spano for quoting Coretta Scott King to explain vote against bill

How an unpredictable Ron DeSantis is advancing Florida conservatism

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis leaves a K-9 bill signing in the Capitol courtyard, Wednesday, May 1, 2019 during the last week of the 2019 Florida legislative session. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
In his first legislative session as Florida’s leader, DeSantis defied easy political categorization. Lawmakers describe an ideological and assertive governor who nevertheless rolled with the...

Andrew Gillum writes $100,000 check to Florida Democratic Party for voter registration

(From left) Sen. Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg, Rep. Fentrice Driskell, D-Tampa, Former Gubernatorial Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum and Terrie Rizzo, the State Chair of the Florida Democratic Party take a photo with a check donated to the Florida Democratic Party during the Florida Democratic Party and Forward Florida Action Partnership to register voters in Florida held at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida on Thursday, May 16, 2019. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
‘The race begins today,’ the former Tallahassee mayor said.

Charlie Crist’s questioning of William Barr was a breakthrough for Democrats — and for Crist

U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-St. Petersburg, questions Attorney General William Barr during a meeting of the House Appropriations Committee on April 9. Crist's exchange with Barr has become the flashpoint in the struggle between Congressional Democrats and the White House.
The St. Petersburg Democrat stumbled into a flashpoint in the fight between Trump and the House. Here’s how he got there.