Steve Contorno - Political Editor

Political Editor

My title is "Political Editor" but really I write about power (the people who have it and those who want it) and influence (the good kind and the less altruistic). There's never a shortage of stories about either in Florida. The best ones hold your elected leaders accountable and expose the unelected powers pulling the levers. That's what I'm focused on. I started out covering politics in my home state of Illinois, with stints in Wisconsin, Virginia and Washington, D.C., before settling in Florida in 2015. I'll take the heat over snow any day. If I'm not working, I'm hunting for Chicago sports in St. Pete bars, vegan eats or my next book. I run on your tips and black coffee.

  1. Gov. Ron DeSantis' signature has varied over the years. Here's how he has signed official documents from 2008 to 2021.
  2. A Biden/Harris 2020 flag flies in the breeze as voters wait in line Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, in Lakeland, Fla. Floridians began early voting in much of the state Monday with no serious problems reported as the Trump campaign tries to cut into an early advantage Democrats have posted in mail-in votes in the key swing state. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
  3. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis addressed the media at the River Garden Hebrew House for the Aged in Jacksonville, Fla., on the status of COVID-19 vaccination rates in the state's nursing homes and assisted living facilities Monday, Jan. 25, 2021. (Bob Self/The Florida Times-Union via AP)
  4. Voting signs are seen just outside the Belleair Beach City Hall Tuesday, March 9, 2021. Belleair Beach is one of 10 small Pinellas municipalities that held elections Tuesday.
  5. Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a press conference following the State of the State address during the joint session of the Florida Legislature at the Capitol in Tallahassee on Tuesday, March 2, 2021.
  6. The entrance to Mainlands of Tamarac is seen Monday, Feb. 17, 2020 in Pinellas Park.
  7. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is silhouetted as he speaks to the media while residents line up a coronavirus vaccination site at Lakewood Ranch Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, in Bradenton.
  8. Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier at the Capitol in Washington.
  9. President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden watch fireworks from the White House, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
  10. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump walk to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on Wednesday in Washington. Trump was en route to his Mar-a-Lago Florida Resort.
  11. Jan. 19• The Buzz on Florida Politics
    Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., right, signs autographs before a President Donald Trump campaign rally at the Ocala International Airport, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Ocala.
  12. The scene outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, the day a violent pro-Trump mob attacked and breached the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, leaving five dead.
  13. The SpaceX Falcon 9 and the Crew Dragon capsule, with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley onboard, lifts off Saturday, May 30, 2020, at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral.
  14. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., leads the final vote of the impeachment of President Donald Trump, for his role in inciting an angry mob to storm the Congress last week, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
  15. Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody answers reporters questions during the 2019 legislative session. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  16. Trump allies Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., flanked by Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., sit in the House chamber during a joint session of the House and Senate to count the Electoral College votes cast in November's election, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, Pool)
  17. Jan. 7• The Buzz on Florida Politics
    The Capitol stands mostly quiet, Thursday morning, Jan. 7, 2021 in Washington. The House and Senate certified the Democrat's electoral college win early Thursday after a violent throng of pro-Trump rioters spent hours Wednesday running rampant through the Capitol. A woman was fatally shot, windows were bashed and the mob forced shaken lawmakers and aides to flee the building, shielded by Capitol Police. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
  18. Congressman Charlie Crist is pictured while giving an interview on Election Day at The Coliseum on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020 in St. Petersburg.
  19. U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor, tested positive for COVID-19, his office said Wednesday.
  20. FILE - In this March 25, 2020, file photo Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., attends a news conference about the coronavirus relief bill on Capitol Hill in Washington. Scrambling to address voting concerns amid a pandemic, election officials from Nevada to Florida are scaling back or eliminating opportunities for people to cast ballots in person. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
  21. DORAL, FL - SEPTEMBER 06:  (L-R), Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Florida Governor Rick Scott speak to the media about Hurricane Irma on September 6, 2017 in Doral, Florida. It's still too early to know where the direct impact of the hurricane will take place but the state of Florida is in the area of possible landfall.  (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
  22. Dec. 29, 2020• The Buzz on Florida Politics
    Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., gives her opening statement during a House Judiciary Committee markup of the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington. Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden’s search for a running mate is entering a second round of vetting for a dwindling list of potential vice presidential nominees, with several black women in strong contention.
  23. Supporters of President Donald Trump wave signs and some wear MAGA face masks thrown to the crowd by the president at Orlando Sanford International Airport on Monday, Oct. 12, 2020 in Sanford.