Generally speaking, a race for clerk of the circuit court is usually one of the last races a local voter is considering in a presidential election year. And that’s sort of the way that the race between Pat Frank and Eric Seidel is progressing with just weeks to go in the Hillsborough County Clerk of the Courts race.
That couldn’t be said for Frank’s primary race, when fellow Democrat Kevin Beckner went all scorched earth in trying to take down Frank, the 86-year-old Democratic icon who’s been in local politics for over four decades now. Though that race generated lots of press coverage, the controversies Beckner generated meant little at the end, as Frank defeated Beckner by more than 18 percentage points.
Reading the mood of the electorate, Seidel formally announced even before the Democratic primary contest had concluded that he wouldn’t be engaging in similar tactics, signing a pledge to run a clean campaign for the rest of the election cycle.
Recent fundraising numbers show the former Fox-13 consumer reporter is staying competitive in campaign contributions with Frank. Seidel has raised $107,213 as of Oct. 7, while Frank has raised $155,601. However, Seidel had more than $27,000 cash-on-hand as of Oct. 7, while Frank had less than $7,000 cash-on-hand.
Seidel is now out with his first campaign ad now running on local stations. In it, he makes sure to let Hillsborough voters know he’s the Republican candidate on the ballot, mentions his Fox-13 work, and calls on those watching to “join other voters with conservative values in supporting my vision for a more efficient, user friendly, cost effective, and open clerk of court’s office …”