Janet Cruz is a 4th generation Tampa resident, descending from Spanish and Italian cigar factory workers. Cruz is running for the Florida Senate as a champion for public education, affordable quality health care, and an economy that works for everyone. In February of 2015, Representative Cruz was unanimously elected as the Leader Designate of the House Democratic Caucus for the 2016-2018 term. She became the first Hispanic House Minority Leader. She was recognized for her legislative service by the Community Health Charities of Florida, the Florida Health Care Association, the American Cancer Society, and the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation.