Inaugural list of Central Florida’s Top 25 Most Powerful Politicians

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There are the folks helping Central Florida emerge as a political powerhouse.

Central Florida has emerged as a key region in one of the most influential states in the union — and here are 25 political power players that make a difference in the area.

In compiling this first-ever list exclusively for Central Florida, Florida Politics queried a panel of the region’s leading political consultants, activists, operatives and local lobbyists to give hot takes on who they consider the most powerful pols in the area. No suggested names were provided.

The inaugural panel includes Jennifer Ayers; Gunster’s Orlando managing shareholder Derek Bruce; lobbyist Chris Carmody; David Christian; Ida Eskamani, a lobbyist and activist (and sister of state Rep. Anna); political consultant, lobbyist and communications specialist Tre’ Evers of Consensus Communications; Michael FarmerJennifer Foster; Carson Good; Christopher Heath, a political reporter with WFTV Channel 9 in Orlando; Dana Loncar, Florida Politics Orlando reporter Scott Powers; Florida Politics publisher Peter Schorsch; lobbyist Robert Stuart Jr.  (son to Robert Stuart Sr.); and Eddie Thompson.

Much like our list for Tampa Bay, listed first on a panelist’s list earned 25 points, second earned 24 points and so on. Listing as 25th received one point. Scores were then added up and — voilà — the list was created.

The top four or five slots may be expected. But once you pass that, the list starts to get interesting.

And a few names that did not make the list could indeed be a surprise.

Without further ado, please stay tuned to Florida Politics throughout the week as we count down the 25 most influential political figures in Central Florida.

Follow the list here, on Facebook and Twitter at #Top25inCF.

No. 1: Buddy Dyer

No. 2: Jerry Demings

No. 3: Stephanie Murphy

No. 4: John Mina


No. 5: Val Demings


No. 6: David Simmons

No. 7: Darren Soto

No. 8: Teresa Jacobs

No. 9: Mike La Rosa

No. 10: Brenda Carey

No. 11: Anna Eskamani

No. 12: Carlos Guillermo Smith

No. 13: Cheryl Grieb

No. 14: Jennifer Sullivan

No. 15: Rene Plasencia

No. 16: Dennis Lemma

No. 17: Linda Stewart

No. 18: Scott Plakon

No. 19: Bryan Nelson

No. 20: Amy Mercado

No. 21: Aramis Ayala

No. 22: Lee Constantine

No. 23: Steve Leary

No. 24: Rick Singh

No. 25: Robert Stuart

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.


  • gary

    July 22, 2019 at 6:10 pm

    this list means nothing without party affiliation… fail

    • J G

      July 26, 2019 at 2:22 pm

      Agreed. And a sentence or two about who they are would be helpful as we don’t necessarily know all these folks.

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

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