Representative Susan Lopez-Valdes was born the first generation child of Cuban immigrants in New York City, NY and lived in the Bronx until moving to Hialeah, Florida at the age of 8. She would permanently resettle in Tampa a short time later.
Susan is a product of Hillsborough County Public Schools. She attended Booker T. Washington Elementary, West Tampa Jr. High, Pierce Jr. High and A.P. Leto High School. Being raised by a single mother, shelearned the value of education early on in life. In later years, after raising a family, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University and a Masters in Organizational Leadership from Manhattan College. She was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Everest University for her service to the Tampa Bay community. During her stint on the Hillsborough County School Board, she established an annual "back to school fair," held the weekend before the start of school every August, to address the needs of the West Hillsborough community. This fair grew to be the largest in Hillsborough County and served visitors from her district and surrounding districts. In August of 2019, Valdes hosted her 15th Back to School Fair to serve the thousands of students and their families. The Back to School Fair includes free physicals, immunizations, school supplies and various home products, along with a day of fun for students and their families.
Susan worked as a health practice administrator until winning a seat on the Hillsborough County School Board in 2004, where she served for 14 years until resigning to run for the Florida House of Representatives in 2018. Susan is now running for re-election to Florida House of Representatives District 64 to continue her advocacy on education statewide and tackle other issues such as the environment, healthcare and economic development. She and her husband Gerry have three children (Mallory, Alexander, and Jean-Luc) and four grandchildren (Julisa, Alexander Jr, and Lucinda, and Madison)