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Kevin Beckner gets labor endorsement in Hillsborough Clerk of the Courts contest

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Kevin Beckner has received a labor endorsement in his battle to win the Hillsborough County Clerk of the Circuit Court’s race this year.

The Beckner campaign released a statement on Tuesday reporting that AFSCME Council 79 Region 2 has unanimously voted to endorse the Hillsborough County Commissioner. AFSCME Council 79 Region 2 is composed of 27 local unions across central Florida.

“We are supportive of your endeavors to have the County Clerk’s Office work in a transparent and accountable manner as it tends to the needs of its citizens,” said Hector R. Ramos, Region 2 Director. “We applaud your voice among the county leaders which reflects our middle class values and needs.”

“It has always been my priority to ensure working families have government that is response to their needs and listens to their concerns,” Beckner said. “There is more work to do within the Clerk’s Office and I am looking forward to going to work everyday to provide leadership to more than 700 Clerk employees. I have been hearing from many voters across Hillsborough County that we can and we must do better.”

Becker is in an intense contest to defeat fellow Democrat Pat Frank in the party’s Aug. 30 primary election.

Frank has been in Hillsborough politics for over four decades, and been a pioneer for female lawmakers in the Sunshine State. She’s served as clerk of the court since 2004.

Beckner defeated Republican incumbent Brian Blair in a spirited race for the countywide district 6 county commission seat in 2008. He easily won reelection in 2012.  He’s a pioneer in his own right, becoming the first openly elected gay person to be elected in Hillsborough County.

The race has divided Hillsborough County Democrats, including some in the establishment who are unhappy that Beckner is challenging a fellow Democrat.  Beckner has raised more than $184,000 to date in the campaign, Frank has raised more than $115,000.

Standing by and watching the Frank-Beckner campaign play out is former Fox-13 consumer reporter Eric Seidel, who will take on the winning Democrat this fall. Seidel is the lone Republican in the race.

 

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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