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Les Miller thanks Hillsborough County Clerk of the Court and Comptroller Pat Frank for endorsing him as her successor before leaving the race due to health issues.

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Pat Frank wants Les Miller to take her job when she steps down next year

“He is a person who has his head tied down, not up in the clouds.”

Hillsborough County Clerk of the Court Pat Frank officially announced Thursday that she would not seek re-election and that she wants Hillsborough County Commissioner Les Miller to be her successor.

“I said I wasn’t going to consider not running again if I couldn’t be certain that somebody would take my place who would do a good job in the Clerk’s office,” Frank said during a press conference in front of the Hillsborough County Center in downtown Tampa.

She called Miller a “perfect fit.”

“He is a person who has his head tied down, not up in the clouds,” Frank said. “He’s very realistic about what he can achieve and what he has to take a long term look at. He’s familiar with what the issues are that are still on the table.”

Frank applauded Miller’s experience and described it as not all that dissimilar to her own. Miller has served as a Tampa City Council member and as a lawmaker in the Florida House and Senate. Frank served as a Hillsborough County School Board member, in the House and Senate, and on the County Commission before becoming the Clerk 16 years ago.

Miller is now chair of the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners but is not seeking re-election because of term limits.

Frank said she’s not retiring but didn’t elaborate on what her plans were for after her term ends in about a year and a half.

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister also endorsed Miller Thursday.

“Commissioner Miller brings a vast and diverse background of experience, making him the best person for the job,” Chronister said.

Miller is the first Democrat to officially throw his name into the hat for Frank’s job, but more could follow suit. Former Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner is rumored to want to give it another go after losing to Frank in 2016. Hillsborough County School Board Member Cindy Stewart is also a potential candidate for the position.

Miller’s colleague on the commission, Republican Sandra Murman, has already announced she’s running. She has already raised nearly $200,000.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com 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 die-hard 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 contentious issues surrounding transit. 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 a devoted wife and mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder.

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