Jared Moskowitz, former Senate colleagues endorse Janet Cruz for Tampa City Council
Janet Cruz kicks it up a notch.

'She has a deep understanding of the issues facing Tampa residents and I have no doubt she will continue to fight for her constituents on City Council.'

Several former Senate colleagues and a U.S. Representative are offering their support for Janet Cruz as she seeks the District 3 seat on Tampa City Council.

State Sens. Lauren Book, Lori Berman, Tina Polsky, Linda Stewart, Shevrin Jones, Darryl Rouson, Geraldine Thompson and Tracie Davis, former state Sens. Loranne Ausley, Arthenia Joyner and Perry Thurston, and U.S. Rep. Jared Moskowitz are endorsing Cruz.

“Janet Cruz has always been a fierce advocate for the people of Tampa,” said Book, the current Senate Minority Leader. “She has a deep understanding of the issues facing Tampa residents and I have no doubt she will continue to fight for her constituents on City Council.”

Cruz lost her re-election bid to the Senate in November, falling to Republican Jay Collins. Shortly after, she announced she would seek the District 3 seat on the Tampa City Council, challenging appointed incumbent Lynn Hurtak and four other candidates. 

“I am honored to have the support of my former colleagues in the State Senate,” Cruz said Tuesday. “I have always been a strong voice for Tampa in Tallahassee and will continue to do so on City Council. I look forward to working with all my fellow Council members to make our city an even better place to live, work and raise a family.”

Hurtak, a registered Democrat like Cruz, was appointed to the seat following the resignation of John Dingfelder. She has been part of a minority contingent on the Council that often opposes Mayor Jane Castor. Cruz’s daughter, Ana Cruz, is Castor’s longtime partner. 

This will be the first time Hurtak faces voters for her position and will face a strong challenge from Cruz, whose political ties are already paying dividends through campaign fundraising. 

Cruz entered the race in November and has since amassed more than $29,000, about $12,000 more than Hurtak. Only one other candidate in the race has raised more than $1,000 — Gwendolyn Henderson with $2,100 — while two candidates, K.J. Allen and George Feshev, haven’t raised anything and another, Jose Vazquez, has raised just $124.

Cruz has not specifically mentioned Hurtak’s votes against Castor’s administration. She’s running instead on a platform to improve public safety, create jobs and make Tampa a more livable city for all residents. 

The candidates face a Friday deadline to qualify for the race. As of Tuesday afternoon, only Feshev had filed qualifying paperwork with the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections. 

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises Media and is the publisher of FloridaPolitics.com, INFLUENCE Magazine, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Previous to his publishing efforts, Peter was a political consultant to dozens of congressional and state campaigns, as well as 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. Follow Peter on Twitter @PeterSchorschFL.

One comment

  • Crystal Barnjum

    January 23, 2023 at 2:29 pm


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