Connect with us

Headlines

Here is the 2020 edition of The INFLUENCE 100: The most influential people in Florida politics

Beyond the INFLUENCE 100, this is a really, really important edition of the magazine.

“You’ve guaranteed there will be an INFLUENCE Magazine for another two years.”

That’s what one of the members of the INFLUENCE 100 told me after the first listing of the most influential people in Florida politics was published four years ago. This person’s point to me was that by creating a “Fortune 500 of Florida politics,” we had instantly made our fledgling magazine relevant.

I didn’t know if I believed that. Not until another member of the list — a prominent lobbyist — told me about executives of a major corporation who were considering changing their roster of contracted lobbyists.

The in-house lobbyist who managed the team pushed back against the executives’ meddling by taking out the INFLUENCE 100 edition of the magazine, showing it to the executives and asking them to show him the lobbyists the execs wanted to hire. On those pages were some of the members of his existing team.

(A link to the digital copy of INFLUENCE Magazine is here.)

(Click here to subscribe to INFLUENCE Magazine. You must be a subscriber to receive a print edition of the magazine.)

That, my friends, is influence. And that is what this magazine — and especially this edition (our 17th!) — is all about.

But influence is a commodity that’s hard to define. The old adage that “you’ll know it when you see it” doesn’t apply to influence because, in many ways, those who wield influence don’t often want to be seen at work.

That’s what’s special about the INFLUENCE 100.

There are no elected officials or agency heads on the list. That’s for two reasons: the first being that, of course, the Governor of Florida is the most influential person in the state. The second is that the power of most officeholders is with their position and (mostly) they don’t take it with them once they leave.

Instead, the INFLUENCE 100 includes all the other masters of the universe: The Players, The Thought Leaders, The Lobbyists, The Titans, The Counselors, The Media, The Industry Leaders, The Advocates, The Wonks, and The Legends.

The original inspiration for the INFLUENCE 100 was Time Magazine’s annual list of the most influential people in the world, which, rather than ranking them, also breaks down its list into sectors.

The INFLUENCE 100’s two favorite aspects for me — beyond the parlor games it inspires — are the superb photographs that accompany many of the profiles, and that those bios were written by the subjects’ peers, competitors, and admirers. After all, who knows the 100 better?

Since this is the third edition of the INFLUENCE 100, it’s almost as interesting to consider who is no longer on the list as well as who is making a repeat appearance. About 60% of the latest list is the same as in 2018 but, still, a lot of room opened up on the rankings, especially because it’s a presidential election year in the midst of a pandemic.

And, as it was with the first two editions, this is MY list. I’m responsible for the facepalming, out-of-left-field choices, as well as the glaring sins of omission. I’m the one who initially decided not to rank the list. I’m the one who moved so-and-so from the “100” section to the honorable mentions.

Beyond the INFLUENCE 100, this is a really, really important edition of the magazine. You’ll notice that we made a concerted effort to ‘take off our blinders’ and diversify who is featured throughout the magazine.

There’s just a slew of news and notes and insights and features about what we think is the most politically active and interesting state in the country.

Hopefully, with this third edition of the INFLUENCE 100, we’ve done more than guarantee another two years for our little publication.

Here is the 2020 list of the INFLUENCE 100:

Jon Adrabi

Mat Bahl

Pat Bainter

Amy Baker

Tim Baker

Brian Ballard

Rodney Baretto

Heather Barker

Sarah Bascom

Katie Betta

Brewster Bevis

James Blair

Ron Book

Carol Bracy

Paul Bradshaw

David Browning

Dean Cannon

Kevin Cate

Kelly Cohen

Robert Coker

Rachel Cone

Michael Corcoran

John Couris

Ben Crump

Ana Cruz

Casey DeSantis

Matt Dixon

Carol Dover

Eric Eikenberg

Alia Faraj-Johnson

Gary Fineout

Ben Gibson

Aminda Marques Gonzalez

Marion Hammer

Jeff Hartley

Adam Hasner

Alex Heckler

Mori Hosseini

Ryan Houck

Nick Iarossi

Erin Isaac

Yolanda Cash Jackson

Christina Johnson

David Johnson

Eric Johnson

Marva Johnson

Dara Kam

Mark Kaplan

Fred Karlinsky

Shad Khan

Troy Kinsey

John Kirtley

Syd Kitson

Ron LaFace

Jackie Lee

Steve Marin

Scott Maxwell

Brian May

Tracy Mayernick

Darrick McGhee

Desmond Meade

Kathy Mears

Collier Merrill

Carlos Migoya

Glenna Milberg

Nate Monroe

Karen Moore

John Morgan

Rosemary O’Hara

Anthony Pedicini

Peter Penrod

Ryan Petty

Fred Piccolo

Tom Piccolo

Sean Pittman

Emmett Reed

Marc Reichelderfer

Joy Reid

Bo Rivard

Kim Rivers

Bill Rubin

Chris Ruddy

Ron Sachs

Steve Schale

Eric Silagy

Stephanie Smith

Nadine Smith

Shane Strum

Ryan Tyson

Christian Ulvert

Jason Unger

Steve Vancore

Jeff Vinik

Ashley Walker

Nancy Watkins

Will Weatherford

Susie Wiles

Mark Wilson

Rick Wilson

Joe York

Skylar Zander

Written By

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 Orlando Rising and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also 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.

Sign up for Sunburn

Receive our team's agenda-setting morning read of what's hot in Florida politics. Delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday.

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

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Renzo Downey, Rick Flagg, A.G. Gancarski, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Bob Sparks, Andrew Wilson, and Kelly Hayes.
Email: Peter@FloridaPolitics.com
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Connect
Sign up for Sunburn

Receive our team's agenda-setting morning read of what's hot in Florida politics. Delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday.