A decade of strategy: Anthony Pedicini, Tom Piccolo celebrate a big anniversary

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The duo helped elect top GOP leaders like Chris Sprowls and Bill Galvano.

It was 10 years ago to the day that Anthony Pedicini launched his Strategic Image Management political consulting firm.

Back then Pedicini was a rising star in GOP politics. Before launching his firm, Pedicini worked for then Rep. and now Sen. Gayle Harrell first as a campaign manager when he was just 20 years old and then as a legislative aide. He later served as the Republican Conference Liaison in the Florida House Majority Office, among other political gigs.

Pedicini joined forces with Tom Piccolo after launching the firm known by political insiders as SIMWins. At first the firm’s success, like any new venture, seemed questionable. Pedicini and Piccolo were the new kids on the block, still young and still learning.

But the duo quickly built a reputation for managing or consulting on campaigns with strategy that blended political savvy with necessary aggression.

Piccolo was, and is, the calm to Pedicini’s storm. Where Pedicini is outgoing, Piccolo is more studious, a quiet man with a plan.

There were stumbles. Pedicini infamously became tangled in a local mini-scandal when now-Rep. Jackie Toledo ran unsuccessfully for Tampa City Council. Questions came up about Pedicini’s involvement with a PAC running attack ads against Toledo’s opponent.

But he and his firm emerged, head held high. And despite saying she wouldn’t, Toledo later turned to Pedicini again for her successful run for the Florida House.

And since then, SIMwins has amassed a healthy list of just that — wins.

There’s some big names on the list.

“Anthony has been an invaluable member of my team since day one, from walking door-to-door together in the rain during my first House race, to working to maintain a Republican Senate Majority during the 2018 cycle,” said Senate President Bill Galvano, who SIMwins represented. “I’m proud to congratulate my good friend Anthony, Tom, and the entire Strategic Image Management team on their success.”

Another big name: Chris Sprowls. Pedicini and Piccolo have been with Sprowls from the start. Tuesday, they’ll watch as their now star client gets officially named Speaker Designate. Sprowls is set to take the top leadership role in the House for the 2021 and 2022 sessions.

Together, Pedicini and Piccolo have won hundreds of campaigns since their launch a decade ago. They boast big names like former House Speaker Richard Corcoran who is now Florida’s Education Commissioner. They helped usher Attorney General Ashley Moody to victory last year and won a hard fought battle to elect former Rep. Ed Hooper to the Florida Senate.

Years after working as her aide, Harrell remains a Pedicini fan.

“He was terrific as an aide. He got taken away for a bigger opportunity, but I don’t hold anyone back,” Harrell said. “He has continued to work very hard. With him, the sky’s the limit.”

The list is too long to include everyone, but it includes people from the early days like Larry Ahern, Jim Boyd and Neil Combee. They dabbled in out-of-state politics, too, electing the first Republican Mayor of Atlantic City, New Jersey, in more than 30 years.

SIMwins has also managed congressional campaigns including for Dennis Ross, Tom Rooney and Ted Yoho.

Locally SIMwins managed campaigns for Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandy Murman and former Commissioners Victor Crist and Mark Sharpe.

The firm was behind the Republican reclaiming of House District 36 in 2016. At just 21 years old, Amber Mariano was the youngest Representative ever elected to the Florida Legislature.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected].


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