Coming Aug. 5
The News-Press will publish a special 16-page section highlighting local candidates running in the Aug. 14 primary election.
We will present the local candidates’ answers to our questionnaires in print along with other important elections information. Races include congressional, legislative, county, school board and judicial offices.
About the clerk of court office
The 2011-12 budget is $7.69 million — a 13 percent decrease from the previous year. The office has 340 employees, according to the clerk’s website. The salary for the Lee County clerk of court is $141,106, according to the Florida Legislature.
The News-Press Editorial Board's candidate endorsement articles are on the following days:
Sunday, July 15: Congress
Monday, July 16: Florida House of Representatives
Tuesday, July 17: Lee County Commission
Wednesday, July 18: Lee County School Board
Thursday, July 19: Lee County Tax Collector and Clerk of Courts
Friday, July 20: Lee County Sheriff
Saturday, July 21: 20th Circuit Judges
Sunday, July 22: Endorsement recap
About Linda Doggett
Public contact information: 239-851-5400; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.lindadoggettforleeclerk.com
Social media presence (Facebook, Twitter, etc.): Linda Doggett for Lee County Clerk of Courts @lindoggett
Family: Married to Donald Wayne Doggett with and we have two wonderful daughters. Adeline (9) and Andrea (8).
Occupation: Chief Operating Officer for Lee County clerk of court
Spouse’s occupation: Supervisor for Lee County Hyacinth Control District
Education: Hodges University, B.A. in Management Information Systems; Edison State College, A.S. in Computer Science
Residence: Fort Myers
Top three priorities: Continue efficiencies trust and accountability, continue sound financial information and recommendations, and enhance the internal audit function.
Lee County Commission: District 2: Don Stilwell | District 3: Larry Kiker | District 5: Frank Mann
Lee County school board: District 2: Jeanne Dozier | District 3: Les Cochran
Florida House: District 76: Raymond Rodrigues | District 77: Dane Eagle | District 78: Heather Fitzenhagen | District 79: Matt Caldwell
Florida's U.S. House District 19: Chauncey Goss
The Clerk of Court office handles a multitude of important functions from managing and maintaining official court and county records, including minutes, agendas, court case histories; auditing department finances; conducting tax deed sales; and paying bills, among others ministerial functions.
Since 1984 the office has been headed by Charlie Green.
Green has been outspoken on issues of county funding and has butted heads with county commissioners on conservation land purchases (saying the county paid too much), property tax rates (saying the county could have lowered them more pre-real estate bust) and Red Sox stadium financing.
He is not seeking re-election for a seventh term and has backed his chief operating officer, Linda Doggett.
We agree that Doggett should succeed Green in this position, and we endorse her in the Aug. 14 Republican primary election
A veteran of the office with almost 30 years, she has shown she is capable of competently managing the office, its employees, technology and other functions.
While Doggett has been in government for all this time, the clerk’s office is one that requires a steady hand and the assurance that key services will be available on a daily basis, from public records to collecting fines to bills being paid.
We feel that Doggett can continue the good work that the clerk’s office has done for decades.
She faces Lee County Commissioner Brian Bigelow, who decided he would resign his seat to run for clerk.
We had endorsed Bigelow in both his county commissioner elections in 2006 and 2010, and feel he has grown since his first election. He has asked some critical questions, even if his ornery approach hasn’t always been appreciated.
However, he lacks the administrative experience of his rival in an office that really should be more technical than political.
The primary winner faces write-in candidate Harry H. Beeman.