Former Hillsborough County School Board member Doretha Edgecomb is endorsing Kevin Beckner for Hillsborough County Clerk of Court.
“I have known Kevin Beckner since his time as a County Commissioner and I watched him bring people together to effect lasting change,” Edgecomb said. “As a former school board member, I know the challenges of public service and trust Kevin to act in the best interests of our community.”
Edgecomb, who attended school in Tampa amidst desegregation, spent most of her life as an educator. She eventually joined the political sphere by running and winning a seat on the Hillsborough County School Board in 2004 where she served until 2016.
Beckner, a former Hillsborough County Commissioner, is currently leading the race in support and fundraising. An internal poll put Beckner at 50% support compared to Cindy Stuart‘s 37%, though internal polls can be unreliable. Still, he’s raised nearly $139,000 while Stuart has brought in less than $47,000.
Edgecomb’s support should come as little surprise to those familiar with the often rocky political climate in Hillsborough County.
Stuart previously served on the school board with Edgecomb, where the two often disagreed.
Stuart and Edgecomb had a major clash in late 2015, when the school board voted on firing former Superintendent MaryEllen Elia. The vote to eliminate Elia’s three year contract was 4-3, with Stuart voting to fire Elia and Edgecomb voting to keep her.
Earlier in the year, as the debate around Elia’s future with the district raged, Stuart voted to make former School Board member April Griffin board chair over Edgecomb, who was vice chairman at the time. Many saw the move as a major snub since it was the first time the board went against the rotation system, which set the precedent of electing the vice chair.
Beckner and Stuart, both Democrats will be facing each other in the August Primary Election.