Pat Frank is a household name in Hillsborough County because in every post she's held over a four-decade career — from county commissioner to School Board member to state legislator — she has served with integrity, competence and vision. Frank is a dedicated public servant with exacting standards, and she deserves another term as Hillsborough court clerk.
Frank, 86, has brought many improvements since first being elected court clerk in 2004. The Democrat has improved customer service for those with business before the courts, modernized the record-keeping process and held the line on spending. Under her watch, the courts have become easier for people to navigate, the government paper trail has become more transparent and the less affluent have an easier time accessing the court system. In a job where getting it right means everything, Frank's attention to detail is critical. She has built a strong leadership team, and the clerk's office is respected by the many agencies that depend on it.
Eric Seidel, 54, is well known from his time as a television consumer lawyer. The Republican would build on the progress in recent years to make the courts easier and more affordable to use. Seidel's knowledge of the law and the local players at the county courthouse would make him effective from the start. He is personable and committed to openness in government.
Frank, though, already has that forward-looking approach, and she is widely admired for not allowing party politics to influence the office. Frank is a model for what public service is all about, and she has more to contribute. For Hillsborough County clerk of circuit court, the Tampa Bay Times recommends Pat Frank.