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Hawkins announces run for State House District 42 seat

Osceola County Commissioner Fred Hawkins Jr. speaks during a press conference announcing the partnership between BRIDG and product lifecycle management company Siemens last year. Hawkins has announced that he will run for the State House District 42 seat.

An Osceola County commissioner has tossed his hat into the ring for a 2020 run – this time for a seat in the State Legislature.

Fred Hawkins Jr., a St. Cloud resident who has served on the commission board for 10 years, announced Friday via email that he will run for House District 42 - the seat currently held by term-limited State Rep. Mike La Rosa.

HD 42 is a mostly rural area covering eastern Osceola County. Hawkins already faces four other opponents for the seat, including two fellow Republicans and two Democrats.

As a county commissioner, Hawkins has represented communities of St. Cloud, Harmony and the Narcoossee area.

Hawkins is the president and CEO of the Osceola Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides assistance to teachers, scholarships to students and funds classroom programs.

Hawkins also serves as Osceola’s representative on the Central Florida Expressway Authority’s Board of Directors, the Orlando Economic Partnership, the St. Cloud Greater Osceola Chamber of Commerce and St. Cloud Main Street.

Hawkins said he sees his next political move as a way to stay involved and invested in his community.

“I want to bring my experience and knowledge to the state level so I can continue to make a positive impact not only for Osceola County, but for all the citizens of the state of Florida,” Hawkins said.

Meanwhile, other locals have filed to run in the upcoming 2020 General Election.

Incumbent Armando Ramirez has filed for re-election to his position as Osceola County Clerk of the Courts. Ramirez first won his position in 2012 but will now face Democrat opponent Leroy Thomas in the primary.

Five people are now running to become mayor of Kissimmee, including two current city commissioners - Olga Gonzalez and Angela Eady.

Downtown Kissimmee business owner Jackie Espinosa also announced last week she intends to file to run for mayor as well Friday, Feb. 8. Espinosa and her husband, Jorge, own retail and restaurant spaces along Broadway, including Matador Tacos & Tapas Bar and the Kissimmee Diner.

Gonzalez, Eady and Espinosa will face-off against Lisandra Roman and Freddy Villanueva in next year’s August primaries.

Three people have filed to run for Kissimmee City Commission Seat 1, the position Gonzalez is vacating to run for mayor. They are Noel Ortiz, Richard Oehler and Olga Lucia Castano.