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Kevin Beckner endorsed by pro-LGBT Victory Fund

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Kevin Beckner has nabbed a prestigious endorsement from the national Victory Fund for his bid to become Hillsborough County’s next Clerk of the Circuit Court.

“Kevin Beckner has been a champion for equality by working to successfully pass a countywide Domestic Partner Registry, overturning a ban on Gay Pride, and getting a countywide Human Rights Ordnance passed,” said Aisha Moodie-Mills, president of the Victory Fund. “Kevin has also worked to balance the budget, attract new businesses to Hillsborough County, been a leader on improving the regional transportation plan, all the while passing measures to make Hillsborough safer.”

Beckner is a Hillsborough County Commissioner. He famously mocked former State Rep.and former County Commissioner Ronda Storms for her push to ban local Gay Pride by calling her out for not capitalizing the letters.

The Victory Fund works to endorse openly gay officials at all levels of government who show promise in supporting equality and pro-LGBT policies. Beckner is openly gay.

The endorsement could mean Beckner has access to some outside money. Durinp the last presidential election year in 2012, the Victory fund posted nearly $500,000 in total assets, according to a financial audit.

The group doesn’t just get behind candidates because they are members of the LGBT community. The Victory Fund puts candidates through a rigorous vetting process and looks for signs the candidate is likely to be successful and is running a serious campaign.

“We stand firmly behind Kevin in his bid for Clerk of the Circuit Court because he has the financial background, experience, temperament, and work ethic to improve the Clerk’s Office and be the CFO for Hillsborough County,” Moodie-Mills said.

Beckner has been a certified financial planner for 16 years. As a two-term county commissioner he has served as one of seven members to oversee a general and capital budget of more than $3 billion.

Beckner began serving in 2008 and has seen the commission through tough economic times and steep budget cuts. Beckner has backed programs in Hillsborough including a wage theft ordinance, domestic partnership registry, same-sex partner benefits for county employees, civil citation and a countywide violence prevention initiative.

Beckner also serves as a member of Tampa Rotary, past President of Leadership Tampa Bay, and serves on several nonprofit boards throughout the Tampa Bay area.

Beckner is running against incumbent Clerk, Pat Frank, and consumer lawyer Eric Seidel. So far, Beckner has out-raised both with nearly $150,000. Frank has raised just over $100,000 and Seidel just $60,000.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email

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