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Doug Bakke, Hillsborough Clerk’s veteran, challenges Kevin Beckner

Bakke’s experience will take on Beckner’s political name recognition.

Former Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner will have competition in his race for Hillsborough Clerk of the Court bid next year.

Doug Bakke, the current chief deputy to the clerk, filed to run against Beckner Friday morning.

The two candidates are vying to replace current Clerk Pat Frank who is retiring when her term ends.

Bakke has worked at the Clerk’s office since 1994. Before that he served four years active duty with the U.S. Marine Corps.

“Serving under both Pat Frank and Richard Ake for the past 25 years has been a tremendous privilege and I’ve seen firsthand the type of leadership and comprehensive understanding that is needed to run this office,” Bakke said.

“Over the next year I will be talking to voters, business leaders and political leaders about why I’m the right choice to continue to build on their legacy and to serve the residents of our county as their next Clerk.”

Bakke began his career with the Clerk’s office as a night-shift file clerk, but worked his way up to an executive-level position.

As Chief Operating Officer and Chief Deputy Clerk, Bakke oversees the largest operational area in the agency, supervising more than 400 employees and managing a $30 million budget.

“I have spent the majority of my career in this office, becoming intimately knowledgeable with its inner workings. I am fully prepared to assume this role and lead with honor, integrity and professionalism.

“I am convinced that when voters go to the polls in this election, they will understand that real experience really matters,” Bakke said.

Bakke serves on a variety of statewide committees and workgroups for Clerk officials where he works to identify greater efficiencies to various aspects of court operations.

He also provides regular training to members of the local legal community on the use of the Florida Courts’ e-Filing Portal as well as accessing the Clerk’s local court case public access systems.

During his career with the Hillsborough Clerk’s office, Bakke has also developed relationships with criminal and civil justice agency partners including the Spring of Tampa Bay, a center for women who have been victims of domestic abuse.

Bakke also serves as the Vice-Chair of the Hillsborough County Domestic Violence Task force.

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 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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Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Renzo Downey, Rick Flagg, A.G. Gancarski, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Bob Sparks, Andrew Wilson.
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