Slow going in race to succeed Janet Cruz in HD 62 - Florida Politics

Slow going in race to succeed Janet Cruz in HD 62

Janet Cruz has held what is now the House District 62 seat in Hillsborough County since winning a special election back in early 2010.

Who will replace her in the overwhelmingly Democratic district a year from now is unknown.

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Three Democrats have filed to run in the race, the best known probably being John Rodriguez. He served as a legislative aide to Cruz and to several other House Democrats, such as Bob Henriquez, Michael Scionti and Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda.

Despite the leg up in legislative experience, Rodriguez raised no money last month. He’s has only raised $510 since entering the race in May, plus a $1,000 loan he threw in to get his campaign started when he filed. He had just $650 in the bank at the end of October.

Carlos Frontera, a 42-year-old Cuban native, also posted a goose egg last month and so far has raised just $875 since entering the contest in March. Add in his $200 kick starter loan and he has just $1,050 in the bank through seven months.

Leading the pack is Michael Alvarez , who actually did raise some cash in October – $2,029, to be exact.

The Marine veteran and a party activist now leads the field with $8,626 raised since he filed in May. Like his primary rivals, he’s also thrown a bit of his own money into his bid.

Adding in his $5,148 in loans over the past six months, Alvarez has $6,440 in the bank.

House District 62 covers a large portion of inland Hillsborough County, including parts of Tampa and the communities of Town ‘n’ Country and Egypt Lake-Leto.

Democrats hold a 2-to-1 advantage over Republicans in voter registrations, and Cruz’ ran unopposed in her re-election campaign for a fourth term.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the 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. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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