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#16 on list of Tampa Bay’s Most Powerful Politicians — Janet Cruz

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Top 25 16How valued is the Tampa state House Representative to the Florida Democratic Party? Janet Cruz said in January she was getting calls from Democrats in Tallahassee and Washington that she run for the newly created Senate District 22 seat that evolved from a newly drawn Senate map.

“It would cost $4 million,” Cruz told POLITICO’s Matt Dixon. “I could win it this year, but it’s a two-year seat I would have to raise $4 million for again and probably not hold.”

Cruz instead looks forward to succeeding Mark Pafford as House Minority Leader in 2017.

She landed in the Legislature in 2010, winning a special election in House District 62 over fellow Democrat Pat Kemp.

Among those who sing her praises are her daughter Ana, a Democratic Party strategist and lobbyist who gave birth to her daughter when she was only 16.

“She raised us to stand up for ourselves and for those who couldn’t stand up on their own,” Ana Cruz said. “Our home was the one where anyone was welcome, regardless of color, religion, status or who you loved. And if that’s what you call being liberal then it was an honor being raised in a liberal household.”

This is the first time Cruz has placed in the survey, having made honorable mention last year.


For a complete explanation of how this list was created and who comprised the panel that assembled it, please read here.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been 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.

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