Hillsborough County Tax Collector candidate Nancy Millan has earned the Tampa Bay Times’ endorsement.
The newspaper chronicled Millan’s career at the Tax Collector’s office, from her start in 1989, to her successful implementation of the new policies that turned it into a “model operation” under the leadership of longtime Tax Collector Doug Belden.
“Millan vows to continue the customer-centric focus. She wants to expand online services, and provide more personal assistance through virtual means to help taxpayers navigate any specific problems,” the Times wrote. “Millan recognizes that the coronavirus will create long-term demands for safer ways to interact with the public. She’s also interested in expanding a pilot project that provides some services at self-serve kiosks in retail locations. And Millan would make cyber-security a priority.”
The Tampa Bay Times presented Millan’s Democratic primary opponent, April Griffin, in a someone favorable light in its rejection of her bid.
“Griffin, 51, was a driving force on the board for raising the district’s graduation rate and expanding its career and technical programs,” the paper said. “She wants to wring more efficiencies out of new technology and explore the use of mobile units to provide services to far-flung constituents. Griffin also wants to seek broad public input in how the office could improve. As a school board member, she was an indefatigable worker who took constituent service seriously. Griffin has a solid grasp of county government and a record of addressing under-served communities.”
Despite that grasp, however, the Times said there’s no reason to fool around with a proven formula, saying Millan “won’t need a learning curve after the election.”
“She has an open, consensus-building style that fosters morale and teamwork. Her decades of professional commitment have made the office measurably better and more responsive to taxpayers. There’s no need to experiment now when a capable manager is looking to take the reins. Millan is uniquely prepared and the strongest Democrat for the general election in November,” the Times said.
The Times’ endorsement adds to a mounting list of leaders and institutions backing Millan, including the Florida Sentinel Bulletin, Sen. Janet Cruz, former Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Hillsborough County Clerk of Court Pat Frank. Belden has also endorsed Millan.
Millan faces Griffin in the Aug. 18 primary election. The winner of the Democratic primary will face Republican candidate TK Matthew in the general election Nov. 3.