TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – In Tampa Bay, local government officials prepare for changes as Inauguration Day wraps up in Washington, D.C. and one local political leader is extending her role to the nation’s Capital, further representing the Bay Area in policy issues.

Political figures across the Tampa Bay region react as the 46th President of the United States, Joe Biden was sworn-in to his new role on Wednesday. The First Lady of Tampa and a top Tampa Bay Government Affairs Professional for Ballard Partners, Ana Cruz is confident in the political relationship between Washington, D.C. and home, stating, “We have an incredible opportunity with the incoming administration.” She affirmed, “I know that our mayor, who happens to be my partner, will indeed build relationships that are necessary to ensure that Tampa is properly represented.”

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Tampa’s Mayor Jane Castor and First Lady/Government Affairs Professional, Ana Cruz | CW44 News At 10

Ana Cruz, the managing partner of one of the state’s largest political bipartisan lobbying firms, Ballard Partners’ Tampa Bay practice, is a Tampa native. She’s well-known in state and national political circles and has spent decades building relationships with local, state and federal officials and the business community.

Over the past 20 years, Cruz built a coalition of clients around a reputation for getting things done, from helping professional sports teams find a home, to negotiating cable franchises and Uber’s entrance into Hillsborough and Orange Counties. She is currently negotiating around-the-clock for her clients to open ambulatory surgical centers and non-COVID-19 elective operations and procedures. As she does, Cruz brings it home where another major COVID-19 warrior lives, her partner Mayor Jane Castor, who is also generating national headlines.

Just recently, Cruz announced her expanded role in D.C. and will be tasked with working on progressive policy issues there, bringing with her a wealth of experience and successes from the region. She’s proud of the steps Tampa as taken in terms of social issues, transportation and the developing vibrancy of Tampa’s culture. Looking to further build on those points and more, “I’m very excited at that opportunity,” said Cruz, “particularly with this new administration and a lot of the folks that worked on the campaign.”

Tampa’s First Lady and Government Affairs Professional, Ana Cruz | CW44 News At 10

Following the Presidential Inauguration, Cruz says, although the person in the seat of highest authority changes, the responsibility of fulfilling those duties  of advancing society remains the same. She’s eager to fold her extensive experience into a more active role in guiding national policy. “I’ve worked at a local, state and federal level. I’ve advised Hillary Clinton on both of her campaigns. I’ve had the pleasure and honor to work with so many incredible leaders and candidates, but it’s about good government and that fight must continue, and we must continue to hold our elected officials accountable.”

Cruz is sure not to understate the importance of having a local voice in the national discussion, stating, “We can certainly take a very pointed example in the way that the federal government and our former president handled a wide-spread pandemic. That example alone shows how much power the federal government and the President of the United States and Congress directly has on our lives.” And to that point, we’re fortunate Tampa Bay will be actively represented on a national level.

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