The Service Employees International Union Florida (SEIU FL) announced Wednesday that it has endorsed Pat Frank in the race for Hillsborough County Clerk of the Circuit Court.
“Pat Frank has been on the forefront of social justice and working families issues since she fought to desegregate Hillsborough County schools,” said Alphonso Mayfield, President of SEIU Florida Public Services Union, in a statement.”Pat Frank is the reason that we have the Departments of Elder and Veterans Affairs, mandatory kindergarten and a whistleblower law protecting the public employees. She has brought the same level of leadership to her role as Clerk of the Circuit Court. We will be activating our networks and mobilizing our membership in order to maximize our impact in her important reelection.”
The SEIU is one of the most active progressive organizations in Florida. It’s been leading the Fight for $15! campaign to try to raise the minimum wage in the Sunshine State to $15 an hour for fast-food workers, home health care workers and adjunct professors.
Frank has served as Clerk of the Court since 2004, but she’s under a serious challenge this year by fellow Democrat Kevin Beckner.
Beckner is term-limited out this year on the Hillsborough County Commission, and announced a year ago that he would take on Frank, creating a fissure in Hillsborough Democratic politics.
As a Clerk of the Circuit Court, Pat Frank has worked to improve access to services for low-income workers, and recently conducted a driver license reinstatement program aimed at helping people regain their driving privileges. Though the Clerk’s role is in administering policy set in statute by the legislators, how this is done makes a difference.
“I appreciate the support of SEIU and its members,” Frank said. “Workers in Hillsborough County, throughout Florida and nationwide are facing the challenge of a rising cost of living that makes it difficult to make ends meet. SEIU has been on the front-lines of addressing this by fighting for legislation and organizing its members. As Clerk of the Circuit Court, I came out against for-profit probation schemes and worked with the sheriff’s office to ensure that these corporations were not able to take advantage of anyone in our community.”
Beckner leads Frank in fundraising in the Democratic race, which takes place on August 30.
The winner will face Republican Eric Seidel.