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Steve Contorno - Times Political Editor

Times 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. A large monitor displaying a map of Asia and a tally of total coronavirus cases, deaths, and recovered, is visible behind Vice President Mike Pence, center, and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, left, as they tour the Secretary's Operations Center following a coronavirus task force meeting at the Department of Health and Human Services, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
  2. The Times is tracking who Florida elected Democrats are endorsing for president in 2020.
  3. Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, pauses as he speaks in North Charleston, S.C., on Wednesday.
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  5. Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during First in the South Dinner, Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, in Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
  6. Democratic candidate for president Mike Bloomberg in Tampa for a campaign rally in January.
  7. The Republican National Committee sent out this mailer to a Florida resident in Tallahassee that claims to be a 2020 Congressional District Census. Democrats say the mailer is deceptive, as it's coming just before the official U.S. Census.
  8. January 23, 2020, Bushnell, United States: United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo poses for a photo with attendees after delivering remarks on U.S. foreign policy at the Sumter County Fairgrounds. (Credit Image: © Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images via ZUMA Wire)
  9. The Republican Party recently asked Florida tax collectors to provide "all email addresses" that had been collected by their offices.
  10. For Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink is endorsing Michael Bloomberg in the Democratic primary for president.
  11. Janiyah, left, and Stephanie Davis of Philadelphia, stand as they are recognized by President Donald Trump during his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
  12. Opponents of the SB 404, known as the "parental consent" bill, gather at a press conference at the Capitol, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020 in Tallahassee, Fla. The bill requires girls under the age of 18 get a parent's consent before having an abortion was approved Wednesday in its final committee stop. (AP Photo/Aileen Perilla)
  13. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., waits for an elevator on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
  14. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis raises his hands after being asked about his relationship with two Ukrainian businessmen during an announcement at a Palm Harbor Walmart Monday, Nov. 4, 2019. DeSantis refused to answer questions about the two men.
  15. Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign event, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020, in Somersworth, N.H. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
  16. The chamber of the House of Representatives is seen at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Feb. 3, 2020, as it is prepared for President Donald Trump to give his State of the Union address Tuesday night. . (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
  17. Former Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn has announced his endorsement in the Democratic primary for president.
  18. Iowa voters gather in groups to support a Democratic candidate Monday at the Saint Andrew Lutheran Church, St. Petersburg, during the Iowa Satellite Caucus.
  19. Then Florida Governor Rick Scott, left, talks with President Donald Trump after Trump's arrival on Air Force One at Signature Flight Support before speaking at the International Association of Chiefs of Police Annual Convention in October of 2018.
  20. Democratic candidate for president Mike Bloomberg talks with Tampa Bay Times political editor Steve Contorno during his trip to Tampa for a campaign rally on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020 in Tampa.
  21. Democratic candidate for president Mike Bloomberg visits Tampa for a campaign rally on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020  in Tampa.
  22. Democratic presidential candidate, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks at the ​U.S. Conference of Mayors' Winter Meeting, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
  23. West Palm Beach Mayor Keith James talks with his Director of Communications Kathleen Walter while going over the state of the city address in his office at the City of West Palm Beach municipal building in West Palm Beach, Florida on Wednesday, January 15, 2020.