No. 10 on Tampa Bay’s Most Powerful Politicians List: Danny Burgess
Pasco County Senator Dany Bourgeois jumped 14 spots this year, landing in Tampa Bay’s Top 10 Most Powerful Politicians — a steep climb from the edge of the list at No. 24 last year.
Burgess’ rocket to 10th place comes after chairing the Senate Legislative Redistribution Subcommittee. Holding this coveted role gave Burgess enormous power, influencing the shape of Senate jurisdictions in the redistricting process.
President of the Senate Wilton simpsons also appointed Burgess to chair the Senate Judiciary Committee this sessiona role previously held by Sen. I f Brandeswho found himself at odds with several GOP priorities during the 2021 legislative session.
And it’s still only Burgess’ first term as a senator.
With such established GOP support, the young senator is already showing signs of a promising future in the Legislative Assembly. Burgess ended the 2022 session with 15 bills signed or headed for the governor’s office — the most of any lawmaker this year.
“Public service is in Senator Burgess’ DNA, and it’s clear he has a deep love for his community. He balances being a tireless legislator, advocate and veteran with the most important job of all – a devoted husband and father,” said Natalie King from RSA Consulting.
“He has a positive energy that radiates throughout the Legislature, and it is rare to come across someone so well-liked and deeply respected by MPs of both parties, even at the most partisan of times. He is a wonderful friend to many and has a bright future ahead of him.
During his tenure as senator, Burgess — a captain in the U.S. Army Reserve — championed legislation supporting veterans. During the last session, he successfully sponsored a bill (SB 1712) to require the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs (FDVA) to provide suicide prevention training to veteran service organizations as part of a pilot program.
“Affable. Effective. Loyal. In my opinion, those three words sum up Sen. Danny Burgess,” the GOP strategist said. Anthony Pedicini.
“During his brief tenure in the State Senate, Senator Burgess passed some of the toughest and most covered laws of any legislator. A close ally of future Agriculture Commissioner Wilton Simpson, Danny gets to work early and often leaves late. He is often seen accompanied by his family and his politically savvy wife, Courtney. Burgess has proven he can run an agency or a small town. He is beloved in his district and he deserves to be on this list.
Burgess was also trusted to carry priority GOP legislation throughout his tenure in the Senate.
He sponsored a bill (SB 7014) this expanded health care provider protections currently have lawsuits related to COVID-19. The original measure was a Republican priority last year, and the vote to expand it largely toed party lines.
Burgess also led the charge on an amendment to store just $500 million in an emergency preparedness and response fund project be spent at the Governor’s discretion. The original measure (SB-96) reportedly installed $1 billion in the fund. Govt. Ron DeSantis asked the Legislative Assembly to create the fund last year.
Burgess raised the amendment to halve the amount of the fund after receiving contributions from Republicans and Democrats to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
In the previous session, Simpson had nominated Burgess for lead the Select Committee on Pandemic Preparedness and Responsea committee that came into existence in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
That same session, Burgess sponsored the controversial Priority Bill GOP SB 484which has toughened Florida laws regarding violent or destructive protesters and punished municipalities seeking to cut police budgets.
“Sen. Burgess has proven himself to be a strong and effective leader in the Florida Senate. Last year, he successfully met unprecedented challenges as Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on the Pandemic. This year, he served as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Chairman of the Legislative Redistricting Committee, and he served both with excellence and great success,” said Senate Speaker Simpson.
“Specifically, the Senate legislative map passed unanimously and was also unanimously approved by the Supreme Court. An incredible achievement by an exceptional senator. In addition to his service to our country as a soldier, our state as a senator, he is a dedicated family man. Few can claim success in as many fields as Senator Burgess.
Bourgeois has also made several attempts to clarify the legislation for repeal Florida’s no-fault motor vehicle law, which requires drivers to wear injury protection. Despite Simpson’s support, the senator failed to get the bill approved.
Prior to his time in the Senate, DeSantis appointed Burgess to serve as executive director of the FDVA, a position he held from 2018 until his Senate. launch of the campaign in the summer of 2020.
“Sen. Burgess is one of the kindest and most considerate legislators I have ever met. What makes him special is that he treats everyone he meets with respect. I have seen interacting with voters, lobbyists, legislators and business leaders,” said Shawn Foster from the Sunrise consultancy group. “Everyone gets the same treatment and respect. Don’t confuse this kindness with weakness, however. He is not afraid to tackle the tough issues that come before the Legislative Assembly.
Bourgeois won Senate District 20 in a special election in November 2020, where he won around 55% of the vote against the Democrat Kathy lewis. The race between the two was born after the early resignation of Senator Tom Lee.
Burgess has largely defined himself as a family man throughout his career. The senator actively shares the highlights of his life with his three young children and his wife. And of course, their dog, Briar Burgessmakes Republicans and Democrats in Tallahassee smile.
Burgess is already planning stand for election in 2022 when the seat is up for election again.
Joe Henderson’s opinion: After leading the Select Subcommittee on Legislative Redistribution, Burgess joined the Dade City office of the law firm Shumaker. His experience in Tallahassee is a big plus in his new role. Shumaker Smart Movement. The company assembles a whole bench, including the former mayor of Tampa Bob Buckhorn and former mayor of St. Pete Rick Krisman.
For methodology, we define the Tampa Bay area as Pinellas, Hillsborough, and Pasco, but can also include Hernando, Polk, or Sarasota — if politicians in those counties impact Pinellas or Hillsborough.
We define a politician as being in office or a candidate for office.
Being first on a panelist’s list earns the politician 25 points, second 24 points, and so on, until being ranked 25th earns the politician one point. Points are added and, voila, we have a list.
A special thank you to our experienced and knowledgeable panelists, who were instrumental in shaping the 2022 roster: Christina Barker of the Vinik Family Office, Ashley Baumann of Mercury, Ed Briggs from RSA Consulting, Ricky Butler from the Pinellas Co. Sheriff’s Office, Reggie Cardozo from the public square, Ronald Christaldi by Schumaker, Evan Donovan of the WFLA, Joe Farrell by Pinellas Realtors, pollster Matt Florel of the Vicidal group, Shawn Foster of Sunrise Consulting Group, political consultant Max Bonman, mike griffon of Savills, Joe Henderson, Todd Josko of Ballard Partners, Natalie King from RSA Consulting, Patrick Manteigaeditor of LaGaceta, Seth McKeel of the Southern Group, Jennifer Motsingerexecutive vice president of the Tampa Bay Builders Association, Mitch Perry of Charter News, Ron Pierce from RSA Consulting, Preston Rudy of Catalyst Communications Group, and Alan Suskey Shumaker advisors. With Michelle and Pierre Schorsch.