Round 2 of the Locke-Hawkes slugfest has been every bit as exciting as their first battle in 1988. In one corner: Democrat Dick Locke _ a former sheriff's deputy and longtime Citrus County resident seeking his fifth term as the District 26 representative in the state House.
In the other corner, Crystal River lawyer Paul Hawkes, a former assistant state attorney who has been chipping away at Locke's voting record and ethical conduct since he lost to Locke two years ago.
Locke campaigns on his record of personal service to the district, which includes most of Citrus County and part of Marion County. He emphasizes his ability to bring back state money to the district _ for the expansion of Central Florida Community College, the Appleton Museum in Ocala and other projects. He also is a self-proclaimed champion of veterans' rights.
He has attacked Hawkes for defending "drug dealers" and "child molesters" in court and has said he doesn't think lawyers should be in the Legislature.
The Republican fired back that Locke recently had to consult a defense attorney because of an investigation by the state attorney in Tallahassee into hunting trips and other gifts to legislators.
"He's busy being wined and dined," Hawkes said. "He doesn't take his job seriously."
"Nobody's ever bought Dick Locke's vote," Locke responded.
"I think I've done a good job for eight years, and I can continue to do a good job." A popular man in Citrus County, Locke can recall the first names of many constituents and always returns their phone calls.
Hawkes says he would do those same things, plus something he says Locke can't _ provide the leadership in Tallahassee to handle the road, education and prison problems certain to plague Florida during the 1990s.
But to do that, he will have to overcome Locke's simple message of strength and service.
_ STEVEN DRUMMOND
State House District 26 includes most of Citrus County and part of Marion County. House members serve two-year terms and are paid 422,560 a year.
DICK LOCKE, 43, has been a resident of Citrus County since 1953. He is a former Citrus sheriff's deputyand has been a state representative since 1982. He is single and lives in Inverness with his mother. ASSETS: Cash, gun collection, automobiles, subdivision lots. LIABILITIES: Bank loan. INCOME: State representative's salary.
PAUL HAWKES, 33, is a Crystal River lawyer who was born in Connecticut. He has a bachelor's degree from the University of South Florida and a law degree from Florida State University. He was an assistant state attorney for two years and is in private practice. He is married and has five children. ASSETS: Law office. LIABILITIES: Bank loans, student loans. INCOME: Law practice.