Hillsborough County Clerk Pat Frank, “a trailblazing female elected official,” has endorsed gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham, the campaign announced Friday.
The endorsement comes right before the Florida Democratic Party’s statewide conference this weekend in Orlando.
“Now more than ever, we need a woman to straighten out Tallahassee — and Gwen Graham is the right woman for the job,” Frank said in a statement.
“The Republican politicians have turned Florida’s public school system into an education industry that profits special interests,” she said. “With her experience as a mother, PTA president and public school official, Gwen understands we need to put parents, teachers and local school districts back in charge of education. As governor, she will end high-stakes testing, support our teachers and always put students first.”
Here’s the rest of the release:
Frank was one of the first women to attend the University of Florida and began her career in public service as a member of the Hillsborough County School Board, where she was a fierce advocate for desegregation.
She also served in the Florida House and Senate, where she sponsored legislation in support of the Equal Rights Amendment, the Florida Commission on the Status of Women, and mandatory kindergarten in public education. Before her election as clerk in 2004, Frank also served on the Hillsborough County Commission.
“I’m able to run for governor today because of trailblazing Florida women like Pat Frank,” Graham said. “I’m honored to receive Pat’s endorsement and will work every day to follow her example of public service.”
Graham has been endorsed by Democratic female leaders across the state and is energizing young women to participate in the 2018 election.
“After 20-years of Republicans passing policies that hurt Florida’s families, women can’t afford to sit on the sideline,” Graham said. “Our campaign is carrying on the momentum from the Women’s March and working to empower female leaders across the state. Starting in November 2018, the future of Florida is female.”