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County judge | District 2

Two attorneys with long-standing roots in the community are vying to replace Judge Robert Cole, who is retiring this year. Frank Grey and Tom Hanlon were the top vote-getters in the four-way August primary, but since neither captured a majority, they face each other in this runoff. Erin Sullivan, Times staff writer

Frank Grey, 57

Private attorney

Tom Hanlon, 59

Senior assistant public defender

Nonpartisan
Growing up, Grey worked a lot of jobs — plant nursery worker, gas station clerk, garage door installer, lawn mower — but everyone kept telling him he should be a lawyer because of his calm, mediating nature. He comes from a prominent Pasco County real estate family and Grey, a graduate of Gulf High School, has focused much of his private practice on real estate law, as well as code enforcement issues, zoning, land use and landlord-tenant disputes. He has also worked as a special magistrate hearing property tax appeals since 1993 and is a certified circuit civil and county court mediator. There he has worked on small claims, foreclosures, personal injury and homeowner issues cases.Experience Hanlon worked his way through law school in Texas as a bailiff, so he was able to study judges and attorneys during the day and attend classes at night. "I was lucky," he says. Hanlon, who grew up in Tampa, worked in private practice until Public Defender Bob Dillinger asked him to work for him. "Bob really changed my life," says Hanlon, who oversees the public defender's office in Dade City. He has spent his career working as a defender. The Dade City courthouse "is probably the best place I've ever been," he says. Hanlon also works on his ranch, where he used to raise chickens and now has cows.
Associate's degree from Pasco-Hernando Community College; bachelor's degree from the University of South Florida; law degree from Stetson University College of LawEducationBachelor's degree from Florida State University; law degree from South Texas College of Law
People encouraged him to be a judge because of his unruffled nature. "For whatever reason, I've come to have the temperament … that would allow me to function in that capacity and serve the public in that capacity," he says, "and do a good job at it and do it well."Why are you running for judge? Hanlon says he hadn't thought about running until Cole announced his retirement. He admired the way Cole ran his courtroom. "I thought that should be carried on," he says.
Grey says he knows he could be a great judge because he is fair and honest. "I treat people respectfully," he says. "They may not always like the outcome, but at least they felt like they got a fair shake."Why are you the best candidate? Hanlon says his passion for fairness and equality make him the best candidate, in addition to his experience. "I like helping people," he says. "I don't think there is a better field."
Home, investments, savingsAssetsHouse, part ownership in ranch
Mortgage, loansLiabilitiesMortgage, line of credit
Salary from law practiceIncomeSalary as senior assistant public defender
Lives in New Port Richey with his wife, Cheri; two sons; daughter Meghan died at age 19 in a 2008 car crashPersonalLives in Dade City; divorced; one adult son
frankgrey4judge.comWebsite electtomhanlon.com
frank@nprlaw.comEmailtjohn5520@yahoo.com

About the job: County courtrooms are often called the people's court because of the variety of cases heard, such as small claims, misdemeanor criminal cases and traffic offenses. The criminal cases judges preside over carry possible sentences of less than one year in jail and the civil cases involve disputes of $15,000 or less. The six-year-term position could be in Dade City, where Cole presides, or it could be in New Port Richey, depending on any judicial shuffling. The job pays $134,280 a year.

Pasco County judge, District 2: Frank Grey, Tom Hanlon, nonpartisan

Two attorneys with long-standing roots in the community are vying to replace Judge Robert Cole, who is retiring this year. Frank Grey and Tom Hanlon were the top vote-getters in the four-way August primary, but since neither captured a majority, they face each other in this runoff.

Pasco County judge, District 2: Frank Grey, Tom Hanlon, nonpartisan 10/17/12 [Last modified: Thursday, October 18, 2012 11:09am]
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