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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 Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at

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