Dana Young finally concedes SD 18 race to Janet Cruz
VISIT FLORIDA President and CEO Dana Young.

Dana Young

A day after Hillsborough County’s hand recount officially concluded and two days after it was clear Janet Cruz was the Senate District 18 winner, Dana Young has conceded the race.

“The supervisor of elections has finished both recounts and submitted the results. Although the final result was not what we had hoped for, I am extremely proud of the work my team did during the campaign. I wish to thank my supporters and countless volunteers, as well as all of the voters who came out to vote during the election. I also want to thank Senate President Bill Galvano for his amazing support and friendship. As I have said, it was extremely important that we count all votes and guarantee that voters can have faith in our election process,” Young said.

Fewer than 400 votes separated the two candidates in a race that was intense from the get-go.

Senate District 18, which covers parts of Tampa and Hillsborough County, was one of several targeted by Democrats to flip and one of few where it actually happened.

Throughout the campaign, both candidates lobbed accusations at one another, but Cruz fought hard to defend herself against them while sticking to a handful of key issues in the race, including better funding for public schools. She also hurled some of her own critiques at Young.

After Young plastered media with ads condemning Cruz for a snafu involving under-paid property taxes, which Cruz rectified, Cruz pointed out that Young had potentially been profiting from her position in the Florida Senate.

In conceding defeat, Young’s tone took on a more conciliatory nature toward her former foe.

“I wish Janet Cruz the best of luck as she takes on the tremendous responsibility ahead of her in serving our community, and I offer her my cooperation in ensuring our constituents continue to be served,” Young said.  

Young said she would continue working on behalf of her former constituents in “any way” she can to “make a difference in the lives” of all her neighbors. She stopped short of saying whether she’d run for another elected office.

“I will continue to speak out for the issues I am passionate about and work to make sure our government never loses sight of the values that make our state one of the greatest in the nation,” she said.

Cruz declared victory in the contentious race the morning after Election Day noting she saw no path to finding enough votes during a recount to sway the preliminary results that gave her a razor-thin margin over Young.

The race went initially to a machine recount in which the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections came up about 800 votes short of its original tally. The department then submitted its first count to the Department of State. A subsequent hand recount, which concluded over the weekend, did not change the outcome of the race.  

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected].


  • Byebye Dana

    November 19, 2018 at 8:45 pm

    Karma!!! How does that crow taste? Dana Young supported a measure that will put 13,000 Floridians in the unemployment line, without doing her due dilligence. Now, she can join them all…

  • Zakrey Bissell

    November 20, 2018 at 9:48 pm

    There could be a chance Dana is for you is to work for Ron DeSantis’s administration team in 2019.

  • Jo Dee Wright

    November 20, 2018 at 11:33 pm

    Correction Janet Cruz won by 411 votes- NOT just under 400 votes. I know this because I knocked on over 400 doors. Get your facts straight because people’s vote matter and this election matters most to our schools and children.
    This is why we voted for Janet because she stands with our public schools and notvthe crooks who vote for them or run them. http://www.tampabay.com/education/man-who-defrauded-area-charter-schools-sentenced-to-20-years-in-prison-20181113/

Comments are closed.


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