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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. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Kimberly Guilfoyle smile as President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Orlando Sanford International Airport, Monday, Oct. 12, 2020, in Sanford, Fla.
  2. Nov. 20• The Buzz on Florida Politics
    Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., takes off his mask before he speaks to the media after a campaign rally for Republican candidates for U.S. Senate Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Sen. David Perdue on Friday, Nov. 13, 2020, in Cumming, Ga.
  3. President Donald Trump walks with, from left, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., during a visit to Lake Okeechobee and Herbert Hoover Dike at Canal Point, Fla., Friday, March 29, 2019.
  4. DeSantis, left, and Biden
  5. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., arrives for a Republican policy luncheon on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
  6. President Donald Trump walks with, from left, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., during a visit to Lake Okeechobee and Herbert Hoover Dike at Canal Point, Fla., Friday, March 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
  7. Nov. 5• Elections
    President Donald Trump walks to a Make America Great again rally at Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport in Opa Locka, Florida on Nov. 2.
  8. President Donald Trump leaves his campaign rally at Opa-Locka Executive Airport, early Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, in Opa-Locka, Fla.
  9. Democratic candidate for president Joe Biden, left, speaks to a crowd of supporters during a drive-in rally at the Florida State Fairgrounds on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020 in Tampa. President Donald Trump, right, speaks at a re-election rally outside Raymond James Stadium  in Tampa on Thursday, October 29, 2020.
  10. Jill Biden speaks to supporters while campaigning for her husband Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden, during a drive in rally Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
  11. Patricia Hill is surrounded by Bush supporter signs as she shouts her pro-Vice President Al Gore message in front of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, early Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2000. The court heard oral arguments Tuesday in two separate but related appeals from Bush supporters who want the court to throw out any election results that include manual recounts. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
  12. Final 2020 presidential campaign debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in Nashville, Tennessee, is seen on TV in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020.
  13. Supporters of the Democratic candidate for president Joe Biden gather at the Florida State Fairgrounds for a drive in rally on Thursday in Tampa.
  14. Democratic candidate for president Joe Biden, left, speaks to a crowd of supporters during a drive-in rally at the Florida State Fairgrounds on Thursday in Tampa. President Donald Trump, right, speaks at a re-election rally outside Raymond James Stadium in Tampa on Thursday.
  15. Trump and Biden cookies are among the bakery items available for sale on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020, at Alessi Bakery, 2909 W Cypress St, in Tampa. The bakery is continuing with their annual tradition of selling election cookies with the faces of the candidates. So far, the Trump cookies are outselling Biden cookies.
  16. Three reasons why Joe Biden wins Florida and three reasons why Donald Trump wins Florida.
  17. President Donald Trump pumps his fists to YMCA by the Village People moments after wrapping up his speech during his Make America Great Again rally on Friday, Oct. 23, 2020, at The Villages Polo Club in the master-planned age-restricted community in Sumter County, Florida. The visit by the president kicks off one more sweep through the Sunshine State ahead of the Nov. 3 election.
  18. The Florida state flag hands behind Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden as he speaks at Southwest Focal Point Community Center in, Pembroke Pines, Fla., Tuesday Oct. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
  19. 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.
  20. Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to media before boarding his campaign plane at New Castle Airport, in New Castle, Del., Tuesday Oct. 13, 2020, en route to Florida.
  21. Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden answers a question as President Donald Trump listens during the second and final presidential debate Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn.
  22. President Donald Trump addresses supporters during a campaign rally at the Ocala International Airport, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Ocala, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
  23. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks to supporters at a campaign event Monday in Orlando. The Democratic vice-presidential candidate said President Trump is casting doubt on the election process because Republicans fear the majority.