State Rep. Fred Hawkins has announced that he plans to take over as the next President of South Florida State College, which would cause him to leave his District 35 seat with the Florida House and his role as President with the Education Foundation of Osceola County.
Hawkins who is a resident of St. Cloud, the current President of the Education Foundation of Osceola County, and a former Osceola Commissioner, announced his career change on Twitter.
“Pages turn and new chapters begin. I am looking forward to becoming the next President of South Florida State College,” he said. “My time as an elected official has been a highlight of my life, especially serving in the Florida House.”
Hawkins was named a sole finalist for the job a week after the start of a presidential search by South Florida State College and, according to FOX 13, is said to have been a favorite of Governor Ron DeSantis for the position. At the college’s May 3 board meeting, college trustees agreed to change the requirements for the College President position, that said the president must hold a doctorate, making it possible to give Hawkins the “nod.”
“I am the lone finalist for the position. Trustees vote on June 7. I will then pick a date to resign from the Florida House, and from the Education Foundation of Osceola County,” Representative Hawkins told Positively Osceola.
If Hawkins’ move becomes official, the vacancy will prompt a Special Election to fill his Florida House District 35 seat. South Florida State College Trustees must still officially hire and negotiate Hawkins’ contract, which if accepted, would necessitate a special election timeline to be announced.
After serving as the District 5 county commissioner in Osceola County from 2008-2020, Hawkins won his first term as a Florida Representative by a one-percentage-point margin over Democrat Barbara Cady, but easily won re-election to a second term last November with 55% of the vote against Democrat challenger Rishi Bagga.
SOURCE: Florida House, FloridaPolitics.com, FOX 13 Tampa