One has worked in the Lee County courts system for 28 years, the other followed his father and great-grandfather as a county commissioner.
GOP voters will choose in the Aug. 14 primary election between longtime clerk office official Linda Doggett and District 2 Lee County Commissioner Brian Bigelow for the seat to be vacated by retiring Clerk of the Court Charlie Green.
The victor will face write-in candidate Harry H. Beeman in the Nov. 6 general election.
Credentials for the GOP slate:
Residence: unincorporated Lee County
Occupation: Clerk of the Court chief operating officer
Doggett has been with the clerk's office since 1984. She was director of information technology 10 years and courts department director 10 years.
Outgoing Clerk of the Circuit Court Charlie Green endorsed Doggett.
"I've touched every area of the office. I know the job, responsibilities, goals and statutes. I've been leading people for years," Doggett said. "My applications have facilitated efficiencies and improvements that have crossed over into other areas like going paperless and electronic documents."
Doggett said she was motivated to run to continue the work she and her predecessor have done.
"I know I have the qualifications, education, experience and leadership skills," Doggett said. "I felt I had the civic duty to continue to step into that role and provide service to the community."
She said she would continue making the office more efficient and transparent and enhance the internal audit function if elected.
"I want to be sure our taxpayer money is being used efficiently. This is not a political office," Doggett said. "About 95 percent of what we do is process the flow of information, and it takes a qualified person with a clear vision to do it well."
Residence: Fort Myers
Occupation: District 2 Lee County commissioner
Bigelow, a fifth-generation Lee County native, was a town planner before being elected county commissioner in 2006.
He believes his efforts as a Lee County commissioner and his budgetary experience makes him the ideal clerk of court candidate.
"I'm one of five board members who oversee a $2-billion annual budget and more than 2,500 employees," Bigelow said. "I have a larger budget than the clerk's office."
Bigelow lives by the credo "experts are hired, but leaders are elected." He said his own progress parallels his father's when he served as commissioner in the 1980s.
"I've had six years of effective leadership and those are the people the electorate hires to lead the office," Bigelow said. "There are more than 900 functions of the clerk's office and you would have to be superhuman to be an expert at all of them."
Bigelow said he would make the clerk's office more transparent, frugal and ethical and broaden the auditing process.
"It's necessary to assess the organization and start the audit department along the path of reform. I want to make it the inspector general for the department," Bigelow said. "I'd like to see how we can maximize the dollars we take in."