Prominent GOP lobbyist Ron Pierce backing Democrat Janet Cruz in Hillsborough race - Florida Politics

Prominent GOP lobbyist Ron Pierce backing Democrat Janet Cruz in Hillsborough race

Influential Republican lobbyist Ron Pierce is crossing party lines to support Janet Cruz in her bid for Hillsborough County Commission.

Cruz, the term-limited Democratic House Leader, is seeking the District 1 seat now held by Republican Sandy Murman, also term-limited from running again.

As president and CEO of Tampa-based RSA Consulting, Pierce began his career firmly entrenched in local GOP politics, starting in 1998 as a legislative assistant to state Sen. Tom Lee, later serving as the Brandon Republican’s policy adviser from 2004-2006.

Pierce, along with entrepreneur Tom Pepin and RSA Vice President Natalie King, will host Cruz’s campaign kickoff event Monday, Oct. 30, at TPepin’s Hospitality Centre, 4121 North 50th St. in Tampa.

Since launching RSA Consulting in 2009, Pierce has amassed a significant Tampa Bay-area client list, which includes the Tampa Bay Lighting, Pepin Distributing, Florida Hospital, Pepin Heart Institute, Tampa Port Authority, Northside Mental Health Centers, Florida Association of Community Health Centers, and Pepin Academies.

In the District 1 race, Cruz, a Tampa native born in Ybor City, will so far only face Aakash Patel, the lone Republican in the field.

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Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist, editor and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing, reporting and management experience, Phil produced content for both print and online, in addition to founding several specialty websites, including His broad range included covering news, local government and entertainment reviews for, technical articles, and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine as well as advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as editor and production manager for Extensive Enterprises Media since 2013 and lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul. He can be reached at
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