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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Tampa Rep. Janet Cruz elected to lead House Democrats

Rep. Janet Cruz, D-Tampa, hugs members of her family at a ceremony where Democrats elected her minority leader of the Florida House.

SCOTT KEELER | Times

Rep. Janet Cruz, D-Tampa, hugs members of her family at a ceremony where Democrats elected her minority leader of the Florida House.

21

November

After what she termed an “unusual and unpredictable” election cycle that gave Democrats just two additional seats in the House, Leader Janet Cruz rallied members of the minority party Monday.

Cruz, of Tampa, was unanimously elected by Democrats to lead their caucus. She is the first Hispanic woman named leader. 

She told the story of her family. Immigrant great-grandparents, a single mother who worked in a gypsum plant and Cruz’s own teenage pregnancy.

That, she said, is a story mirroring many in Florida.

With just 41 members to the Republicans’ 79, Democrats likely won’t accomplish most of their biggest goals. But she said she is hopeful that House Speaker-designate Richard Corcoran, R-Land O’Lakes, will be open to good ideas, no matter which party they come from.

Democrats elected Rep. Bobby DuBose of Fort Lauderdale as leader pro tempore.

Cruz issued a charge to members of the minority that they stand by their beliefs, even if it looks like they won’t succeed.

“We believe it is time to give Floridians a raise, to protect Floridians from discrimination, to preserve our environment for generations to come,” Cruz said. “On these core values, our principles are not negotiable.”

[Last modified: Monday, November 21, 2016 7:03pm]

    

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