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DWA7D9 Tallahassee, Florida, USA. 4th Mar, 2014. SCOTT KEELER | Times. Left to Right: Jedidiah Sherrod, Miami, of Broward College, talks with Rep. Janet Cruz, D- Tampa, Tuesday, March 4, 2014 during a protest in the Florida Capitol Rotunda. Sherrod was with a group of protesters from the Dream Defenders. ''We are here to voice our opinions regarding students in schools who get sent to prison and to repeal Stand Your Ground legislation. © Scott Keeler/Tampa Bay Times/ZUMAPRESS.com/Alamy Live News

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Janet Cruz won’t run for new Tampa state Senate seat

Tampa state House Democrat Janet Cruz will not run for the newly created state Senate seat in Hillsborough County, POLITICO Florida is reporting.

“It would cost $4 million,” Cruz tells 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 has served in the Florida House in District 62 since January of 2010, when she won a special election to succeed Mike Scionti. She has moved up in party leadership, and is poised to become the House Democratic Minority Leader in 2017.

Republican Dana Young has already officially filed to run for the newly created state Senate District 18 seat, which encompasses Western Hillsborough County, extending from MacDill Air Force Base north to Pasco County.

Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandy Murman is eyeing the race, and repeated to FloridaPolitics.com on Friday that she is still “looking at the numbers” and taking her time about whether to leave her seat, where she is running unopposed for re-election later this year, to challenge Young in a GOP primary.

Cruz said this month that she was under intense pressure from Democrats to run for the Senate seat, and said that if she decided to run, she thought she would win.

“If there ever was a time for a Democrat to win that seat it would be now,” Cruz said. “I suspect that with Hillary (Clinton) at the top of the ticket, her get-out-the-vote effort will make the difference.”

Cruz was by far the choice of state Democrats to run for the Senate seat. The district narrowly voted for Barack Obama in the 2012 election.

Written By

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa since 2000. Mitch can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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