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THE RACE FOR CIRCUIT JUDGE GROUP 15

Tuesday's vote for circuit judge in Group 15 marks the third non-partisan election in as many months for Claudia Isom-Rickert and Mike Kavouklis. Both lost in separate September primaries, but they emerged Oct. 2 at the top of a group of eight lawyers vying for a newly opened circuit judgeship. With barely enough time to catch their breath, they continued their campaigns.

Kavouklis, 54, graduated from Stetson University College of Law and was admitted to the Bar in 1962. He has been an assistant prosecutor, an assistant attorney general, a county attorney, a municipal judge and a county judge in Hillsborough. He has been in private practice six years.

In September, Kavouklis lost the race for circuit judge in Group 5 to Edgar Hinson, a county judge, by more than 9,000 votes.

Isom-Rickert, 38, worked in different public posts, most involving children's programs, before going into private practice with her husband.

She received her law degree from Florida State University in 1975 and spent three years as an assistant prosecutor in the juvenile division before joining the legal staff of the state Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services and then the Guardian Ad Litem program.

Isom-Rickert lost a much closer race in September, when Chet Tharpe defeated her in Group 18 by about 2,000 votes.

_ BRUCE VIELMETTI

THE JOB

Circuit judges are elected on a non-partisan basis and serve six-year terms. They preside over felony criminal cases, civil lawsuits involving more than $10,000, family law matters and juvenile cases. The position will pay $90,399 as of January.

CANDIDATE

CLAUDIA ISOM-RICKERT, 38, is a native of Waterloo, Iowa. She received a bachelor's degree from the University of Iowa in 1972 and a law degree from Florida State University in 1975. She and her husband are partners in the law firm Isom & Isom-Rickert. Isom-Rickert has been an assistant state attorney and an attorney for the state Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services and the Guardian Ad Litem program. She is a member of the National Association of Counsel for Children, the Child Advocacy Guild and the League of Women Voters. She has four children. ASSETS: Holdings in her law firm, real estate, savings. LIABILITIES: Mortgages. INCOME: Law practice.

CANDIDATE

MICHAEL KAVOUKLIS, 54, was born in Tarpon Springs. He graduated from Florida State University in 1958 and from Stetson University College of Law in 1962. He has been a Florida assistant attorney general and an assistant prosecutor in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties. He was municipal judge in Oldsmar from 1967 to 1969 and a Hillsborough county judge from 1972 to 1981. He was Hillsborough County attorney from 1981 to 1984 and has been in private practice since then. He is married and has three children. ASSETS: Homes in Tarpon Springs and Tampa, Florida Retirement Fund, savings. LIABILITIES: Mortgage, bank loan, credit union loan. INCOME: Law practice.

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