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Happy birthday to brilliant Tampa Bay-based strategist Ana Cruz.

Influence

Top Tampa-based lobbyist Ana Cruz moving to Ballard Partners

One of the top political players in the state — and certainly one of the top two or three lobbyists in the Tampa Bay region — has a new home.

Ana Cruz, along with Todd Josko, is moving from Floridian Partners to Ballard Partners, where she will serve as managing partner of the Tampa office. Ballard Partners represents several Tampa Bay-based interests before state and local governments. Among its clients is Jeff Vinik‘s expanding development and real estate empire.

“Ana and Todd bring a wealth of experience and long-standing relationships with government officials and community leaders across the greater Tampa Bay region and throughout the state,” said Brian Ballard, president of Ballard Partners. “I am thrilled to welcome these outstanding professionals to the Ballard team and to grow our Tampa Bay practice.”

A former executive director with the Florida Democratic Party and recently named to INFLUENCE Magazine’s list of the 100 most powerful people in Florida politics, Cruz had been managing Floridian Partner’s Central Florida office in Ybor City since 2011. She can be seen frequently during election time as a political analyst for Bay News 9. Earlier this year, Cruz was named to the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors.

Cruz is the daughter of state Democratic state Rep. Janet Cruz, who has been representing House District 62 in Tampa for the past six years. Janet Cruz was voted earlier this year to be the incoming House Minority Leader in 2017.

“I am delighted to join forces with Brian Ballard and his exceptional team throughout Florida at Ballard Partners,” said Cruz. “The Tampa Bay region is exploding with growth and new business opportunities, and with these opportunities come many critical government relations challenges. I look forward to working with Ballard Partners to help resolve these challenges for new and existing clients.”

Among Cruz previous duties in politics includes stints as the Executive Director of the Florida Democratic Party, District Director for U.S. Senator Bill Nelson; a legislative aide to former state Representative Bob Henriquez; Deputy Finance Director for the Al Gore campaign in Florida in 2000, spokesperson for Hillary for Florida and campaign manager for Hillsborough County Circuit Judge Kimberly Fernandez and Katherine Caitlin’s races, among many others.

“I am delighted to join forces with Brian Ballard and his exceptional team throughout Florida at Ballard Partners,” said Cruz. “The Tampa Bay region is exploding with growth and new business opportunities, and with these opportunities come many critical government relations challenges. I look forward to working with Ballard Partners to help resolve these challenges for new and existing clients.”

The affable Josko is player in his own right.

Josko brings 20-plus years of experience in public affairs, government relations, strategic communications and political strategies. As founder of a Tampa-based public affairs firm that he led for 15 years, Josko helped Fortune 500 companies and associations successfully resolve governmental and regulatory challenges, particularly on issues affecting growth, transportation, economic development and water quality. Notable clients have included the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority, NAIOP Tampa Bay, Florida Turfgrass Association, AT&T and TruGreen.

“Ballard Partners is recognized as Florida’s top government relations firm, with offices across the state and team members regarded as the top of their profession,” said Josko.  “I’m excited to join these talented professionals and look forward to expanding the Ballard brand of excellence across the greater Tampa Bay region.”

Written By

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was 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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Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Jim Rosica, A.G. Gancarski, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Dan McAuliffe, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Bob Sparks, Andrew Wilson.
Email: Peter@FloridaPolitics.com
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St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

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