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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. National and Florida groups are pushing officials to audit the 2020 election.
  2. Sep. 29• The Buzz on Florida Politics
    President Donald Trump speaks at a rally on Sept. 25 in Perry, Georgia.
  3. Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried speaks during a meeting addressing the importance of the state applying for available federal food assistance for children, Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021, at the St. Ruth Missionary Baptist Church in Dania Beach.
  4. Former Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch (left), Gov. Ron DeSantis (middle) and City Councilmember Robert Blackmon
  5. Governor Gavin Newsom speaks ahead of Vice President Kamala Harris at a rally against the California gubernatorial recall election Sept. 8, 2021, in San Leandro, CA..
  6. Only Gregg Prentice knew how to operate software that tracked donations to the Hillsborough County GOP and supplied data for the organization’s monthly finance reports, the party told regulators.
  7. Anna Paulina Luna at a campaign stop at the Tampa Convention Center on Oct. 11, 2020.
  8. Sep. 14• The Buzz on Florida Politics
    St. Petersburg Mayoral candidate Ken Welch talks with the media after voting along with his family at Lake Vista Recreation Center, 1401 62nd Ave S, during the St Petersburg primary election day on Aug. 24 in St. Petersburg.
  9. St. Petersburg Mayoral candidate Robert Blackmon waves to potential voters in their vehicles along with his supporters on 4th Street and 22nd Ave S, on primary election day Aug. 24 in St. Petersburg.
  10. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gives opening remarks before Vice President Mike Pence gives a campaign speech during the "Keep America Great" rally at the Venetian Event Center at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church in Tampa on Jan. 16, 2020.
  11. Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried.
  12. Dr. Mark McDonald, a California psychiatrist, speaks on a panel of medical professionals summoned by Gov. Ron DeSantis on July 26, 2021.
  13. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga.
  14. Nikki Fried and Charlie Crist
  15. Taliban fighters stand guard in front of the Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Monday.
  16. Ron DeSantis signed a controversial elections law Thursday in West Palm Beach, but only Fox News was allowed to show it.
  17. Palm Beach County firefighter Nelson Ramirez administers a Covid-19 vaccination to a female outside the Palm Beach County Public Health Department in Lantana, FL, July 28, 2021. The vaccinations were being organized by the Health Care District of Palm Beach County.
  18. President Donald Trump walks with Governor Ron DeSantis after arriving on Air Force One at PBIA on Nov. 26, 2019.
  19. Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis, backed by wildlife experts, marine business owners and politicians, talks about the state’s overall effort to combat the recent Red Tide outbreak plaguing Tampa Bay waters, during a press conference held at the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg on Wednesday, July 21, 2021. At this moment, the DeSantis was pushing back on a question from a reporter who said the St. Petersburg Mayor, Rick Kriseman accused the governor of politicizing Red Tide. In rebuttal, DeSantis said it was Kriseman who introduced politics into the Red Tide discussions.
  20. Sen. Joe Gruters proposes a reciprocity agreement with other states that would grant in-state university tuition to students with grandparents who reside there, during debate on March 23, 2020.
  21. U.S, Sen. Rick Scott speaks during the Road to Majority convention at Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Kissimmee on Friday, June 18, 2021.
  22. U.S. Rep Matt Gaetz, R- Fla., speaks at the Brownwood Hotel and Spa in The Villages, Florida, on Friday, May 7, 2021.
  23. The Fight for $15 campaign hosted a rally outside of St. Petersburg City Hall, calling for a hike in the minimum wage. Progressives in Florida point to the statewide success of policies like raising the minimum wage as evidence voters can embrace progressive ideas. [Times file photo]