Hillsborough County Democratic Sen. Janet Cruz is rolling out her re-election staff, with Anna Breedlove as her campaign manager, Cruz’s campaign announced Tuesday.
Breedlove began her career in politics working as the lead organizer for the San Diego County Democratic Party. After the 2016 election, she moved back home to Florida and began working on local campaigns, flipping several municipal seats in Gainesville and working as a consultant around the state.
“I am excited to welcome Anna to the team as we run a campaign focused on what really matters to the people of Hillsborough County: access to affordable healthcare, safe communities, fully funded public schools, good-paying jobs, and the opportunity for everyone to live their own version of the American Dream,” Cruz said in a statement. “Anna’s extensive field, organizing, and digital experience will serve our campaign well as we work to connect with voters on critical issues facing our communities. I’m proud of the work we’ve accomplished for the people of Hillsborough County — and I’m nowhere near done fighting.”
In 2018, Breedlove worked as field director for former Rep. Jennifer Webb‘s campaign, flipping the seat from red to blue and electing the first openly LGBT woman to the Florida Legislature.
After serving as Webb’s legislative aide, she became a partner at Statecraft Digital, bringing both campaign experience and a background in digital marketing to the focused tech startup. Over the last several years, Breedlove has worked with more than 35 candidates, including St. Petersburg Mayor-elect Ken Welch.
“I’m honored to join the campaign to re-elect one of Hillsborough’s hardest-working legislators,” Breedlove said in a statement. “Senator Cruz is a champion for Florida’s families and has assembled a dedicated team that represents her commitment to both our community and our state.”
In addition to the recent hire, Cruz’s campaign also announced the incumbent raised $120,605 in December between her campaign account and affiliated political committee, Building the Bay.
Over the course of the 2022 cycle, Cruz has raised $370,094.
“This is a campaign powered by the people and I couldn’t be more honored to launch my race for another term as your state Senator,” Cruz said. “I look forward to continuing to fight in Tallahassee for access to high-quality education, lower prescription drug costs, and housing affordability.”
More details on Cruz’s December fundraising will be available when finance reports are due on Jan. 10.
While Cruz does not yet face a challenger, the tight 2018 race and redistricting means it will likely be a top target for future Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, the Naples Republican who will be quarterbacking the GOP’s Senate campaign efforts this cycle.
Cruz narrowly flipped the Senate seat in 2018, beating former Republican Sen. Dana Young by 411 votes out of nearly 208,000 cast, a margin of just 0.2 percentage points.
Current district borders give Cruz a slim advantage. According to book closing reports published ahead of the 2020 election, Democrats make up about 37% of the electorate compared to a 34% share for Republicans. Democrats have 11,459 more registered voters than Republicans.
The slim voter registration advantage will be tested in a midterm that’s certain to become a referendum on the Joe Biden administration, especially if the current tug-of-war over suburban voters stretches into 2022. All signs are it will.