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Hillsborough firefighters endorse Kevin Beckner

Beckner is, for now, running unopposed.

The local firefighters union is endorsing Kevin Beckner for Hillsborough County Clerk of the Court.

Beckner is, for now, running unopposed to replace incumbent Pat Frank who is retiring. Beckner became the only candidate actively seeking the seat after Frank’s deputy clerk, Doug Bakke, withdrew from the race last week.

“The men and women of Hillsborough County Firefighters serve as the guardians and caretakers of our community. We believe dedication, experience, and a fundamental knowledge and understanding of the challenges we will face every day provides the foundation for our calling and career. Hillsborough County Firefighters believed you possessed these traits when we worked with you, side-by-side, during your time as a Hillsborough County Commissioner,” the group wrote in its endorsement letter.

“Your commitment to a mutual mission of improving the lives of the citizens and the working conditions of the firefighters of Hillsborough County is proven and evident. We value this commitment and believe you possess the required principles and convictions our diverse community needs, and again stand by your side.”

Beckner ran unsuccessfully for the Clerk’s job four years ago against Frank in what turned out to be an uncharacteristically bloody primary for a constitutional office.

In addition to serving on Hillsborough County Commission, Beckner also established the Hillsborough County Community Violence Prevention Collaborative, which spurred the creation of the successful Safe and Sound program, a project that helped reduce crime and lift up at-risk youth.

Previous endorsements include Tampa City Council members Luis Viera and Joe Citro, former Florida CFO Alex Sink, former Hillsborough County Commissioner Ed Turanchik and former Rep. Sean Shaw.

“Hillsborough County Firefighters considers the Clerk of the Court’s role as an integral part of our community by and through its daily transactions with the citizens, Courts and employees of Hillsborough County. We recognize there is opportunity to enact progressive changes and forward-thinking innovation within the Clerk’s office,” the firefighter’s union wrote. “We are hopeful and confident that you will embrace this mindset as well and continue the legacy set forth by Pat Frank of fairness and considerate objectivity.”

Beckner said the endorsement was an honor.

“If elected by the voters of Hillsborough County, I pledge my continued advocacy for our brave First Responders and their families. Together we can build a stronger, safer, and more inclusive Hillsborough County,” he said.


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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