St. Petersburg Times Online: Election 2000
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Ake appears on his way to keep tenure unbroken

By SUE CARLTON

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 8, 2000


TAMPA -- Historically, the job of Hillsborough Clerk of the Circuit Court hasn't exactly sparked political fireworks. In fact, incumbent Richard Ake faced no opponent at all since 1986 -- until this year, when certified public accountant Bart Siegel said he hoped to "stir things up" and announced he was running.

But Tuesday, voters were ready to keep Ake around for another four-year term. The 60-year-old Democrat took an early lead over his 42-year-old Republican opponent. And the numbers piled up in Ake's favor as the night wore on.

"It's going exactly like we'd hoped," he said. "Every time they print numbers, the percentage increases."

Ake said he loves the job, but a victory would go to his staff of 800.

"It's a vote of confidence of the staff," he said.

Siegel, who watched the results from his living room La-Z-Boy recliner sounded hopeful early on but could not be reached for comment later.

The clerk of the circuit court maintains records of the County Commission and circuit and county courts.

The clerk acts as the county's chief financial officer, responsible for tracking and investing more than $1-billion in annual collections.

Ake, who joined the clerk's office in 1961, landed in the top spot in 1985 by an appointment from then-Gov. Bob Graham.

In this campaign, Ake cited advances in computerizing the office's voluminous records.

Siegel, who resigned from his job as an internal auditor in the Pinellas clerk's office to run, touted his work documenting poor financial tracking of millions of dollars at the Pinellas convention and visitor's bureau.

He had been faulted for making too many personal calls and coming in late but chalked that up to a conflict with a supervisor.

In one notable homemade TV commercial, Siegel featured a small dog who appeared to be talking and urging voters to "Vote Smart, Vote for Bart."

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From the Times election desk

National
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  • Hour by hour, outcome gets more uncertain
  • State by state
  • Republicans make gains in skirmish for 83 seats
  • Uneasy mood in Austin flips as votes do
  • Voters swayed by economy, health care, education, Social Security
  • Too close to call in Florida but TV did -- regretfully
  • Presidential campaign lures people to polls
  • Fight for Congress: no clear-cut winner
  • Election 2000 in brief

  • State
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  • Republican Crist well on path to victory
  • Incumbent Crow slightly ahead
  • Race turns into nail-biter
  • Byrd dominating in bid for third term
  • Farkas soundly beats Fischer
  • Foster breaks ahead, takes lead over Baldwin
  • Wallace jumps to early lead over his challenger
  • Henriquez holds strong lead
  • Cowin gains ground in home county
  • Incumbent strides ahead of newcomer
  • Justice leading Kersteen by a comfortable margin
  • Murman headed for second term
  • Newcomer battle ends with Republican Berfield as victor
  • Waters blocks Brennan challenge
  • Miller's hopes look to be affirmed
  • Miller overpowers former Democrat
  • Floridians keep right to elect judges
  • Crist has slight lead on Castor
  • Thurman keeps District 5 seat
  • Bilirakis has big lead in District 9
  • C.W. Bill Young winning handily
  • Bullet train heading for success
  • Davis wins third term
  • Putnam takes early lead
  • Incumbent Russell's win thinner than predicted
  • GOP Rep. Miller is likely victor
  • Floridians keep right to elect judges
  • Gallagher coasts to victory and his old job
  • Littlefield again defeats McLaughlin
  • Fasano, Fiorentino winning return trip
  • Election roundup
  • Briefly

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  • Lealman heads toward fire tax
  • Bobel, Dedman win approval
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  • Democrats bustle to get the vote out
  • Iorio builds her solid lead on record
  • Holt closing in on a third term
  • Term limits prevailing
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  • Republicans may reign in commission
  • Ake appears on his way to keep tenure unbroken
  • Results mixed on city amendments
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  • Two incumbents, Miller leading

  • Pasco
  • Altman holds slim lead
  • Challenger upsets incumbent Cannon
  • Second run is the charm for Schrader
  • Johnson captures Meadow Pointe post

  • Hernando
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