Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn is the center of the latest Janet Cruz television ad that will be featured on broadcast and cable channels throughout the coming weeks.
The ad launched Tuesday. It shows the two-term mayor in black and white, standing in a bare room.
“My friend Janet Cruz embodies what it means to be a Tampanian. And as a daughter of immigrants, she has spent every day enhancing their legacy,” Buckhorn says.
The 30-second spot goes on to describe a candidate who “will make sure our public schools are fully-funded, and without mold and crumbling infrastructure.”
The Cruz campaign claims her opponent, incumbent Republican Dana Young, voted on or otherwise supported $1.3 billion in cuts to public education throughout her tenure in the legislature.
Young is running to keep her Senate District 18 seat. She previously served two terms in the Florida House.
The Young campaign rejects Cruz’s consistent attacks on her voting record as it relates to public education. Young defends her record supporting school choice, like voucher programs and charter schools.
Democrats like Cruz argue those programs siphon money out of traditional schools, and amount to cuts to public education.
Voucher programs use tax credits to fund scholarships to private schools for low-income students who can’t get into quality public schools. Charter schools are publicly funded, but privately operated.
“This election gives Hillsborough families the opportunity to right so many wrongs caused by Young’s reckless votes and once again put our community ahead of the special interests and well-connected insiders,” Cruz said.
Buckhorn’s mention of mold in schools is a nod to Plant High School, where the aging building’s air conditioning is not properly functioning and has resulted in mold.
The Hillsborough County School District recently approved a one-half percent sales tax referendum for the November ballot to fund repairs like those necessary at Plant High.
Cruz currently represents House District 62 seat in Tampa. Former Hillsborough County School Board member Susan Valdes will replace Cruz in that seat.
Valdes defeated Mike Alvarez in the Democratic primary in August. There were no Republican challengers in that race for the heavily Democratic and Hispanic district covering west Tampa.