The Hillsborough County commissioner is halfway through his second and final term on the BOCC, and some political analysts are already pondering where he’ll attempt to land next in his political future. There were rumors a few years ago that he would run for chief financial officer in 2014, but his decision not to go for it was probably a wise one during that decisively Republican midterm cycle.
2014 was also a banner year for Hillsborough County when it came to joining the 21st century in equal rights, and Kevin Beckner was there all the way.
Coming off the repeal on Hillsborough’s notorious ban on “gay pride” in 2013, Beckner led the way on the County Commission voting to attach sexual orientation and gender identity to the discrimination protections outlined in the county’s Human Rights Ordinance, measures that were stripped out back in 1995.
And later that month the commissioners joined the Cities of Tampa, Clearwater, St. Pete and a host of other Bay area jurisdictions in approving a countywide domestic partnership registry, ensuring civil rights and partner benefits for same-sex and unmarried domestic partners.
Democratic consultant Ana Cruz calls Beckner “one of the most disciplined and methodical candidates/elected officials I’ve seen in a long time.”
For a complete explanation of how this list was created and who comprised the panel that assembled it, please read here.