Being one of three Fourth Grade students picked by his teacher, Mrs. Jorgenson, in 1987 to travel to the floor of the Utah House and Senate for her to be honored in teaching 30 years of Utah History to fourth grade students; instilled a desire in Republican candidate Jon Hawkins, UD57 to search for ways he could give civic service to his community of Pleasant Grove, the center of his district, and where Hawkins has chosen to make his home.
Just a couple of days ago Candidates.vote writer Clark H. Caras, was able to catch Candidate Hawkins on a business trip for his Utah employer, Workfront, to Nashville for an interview about the different sides of just one of three… students chosen out of 30 years of fourth grade students to come along with Mrs. Jorgenson that day in 1987.
Candidates.vote – “So in terms of political genealogy you trace this running for office to be this area’s member of the Utah House of Representatives to a sweet fourth grade teacher. And yet you worked with in your first real job for and had as your mentor, Michael K. Deaver, who served as President Ronald Reagan’s Chief of Staff. And did it while living in Washington, D.C.
Candidate Hawkins – “I guess you can say about Mrs. Jorgenson and Mike Deaver with history and politics I most certainly studied at the ‘knee of the Masters’ But I can say that about my Grandfather Richard Hawkins and my father and even now the things I learn with my wife, Mary Hinckley Hawkins, and from our four children as they grow.”
Candidates.vote – “Candidate Hawkins, when I asked you about what it was to have drawn you to a point of actually throwing your hat into the ring; you made an interesting comment that included the words ‘civic’ and ‘politics.’ But I’d be interested in hearing it again.”
Candidate Hawkins – “I guess you are referring to when I said I believe at that moment in fourth grade I decided I wanted to find ways to serve?”
Candidates.vote – “Yes. That the exact thing I was hoping you would share again.”
Candidate Hawkins – “When I was with Mrs. Jorgenson and looked down at the Senate and House floors I saw men and women as senators and representatives I’d grown up next door to,” he said. “And that’s when I got excited and decided I wanted to find ways to serve in a civic capacity and not so much the political. And in doing the civic work over the years, I’ve realized you sometimes have to have a mix of the two, but the civic duty, like being on the Pleasant Grove Planning Committee has been very fulfilling and I’m ready to take it that step further.”
Candidates.vote – “Candidate Hawkins it would appear you have a great love for history and the past. How has that influenced you in becoming a candidate for Utah’s legislature?”
Candidate Hawkins—“I grew up loving to visit with my Grandfather Hawkins about the history of what he’d seen in his lifetime,” he said. “He was in Officer Training and had been pulled from there and thrown in as a naval officer. He passed away on December 31, 1992 and is definitely one of the ones who helped instill history into me”
Candidates.vote – “Love of history brings up a lot of groups. You have your daughters of the American Revolution, the group that takes their history with a dose of Monty Python. I’m betting anything if you are reading anything once in awhile to get away from campaigning the book has a theme of history to it?”
A very distinct chuckle comes from Candidate Hawkins, who says… “I’m reading one called “Franklin and Winston.” It’s a deep dive into the relationship between FDR and Winston Churchill.”
Candidates.vote – “So after some heavy reading like that where and what type, of food do Mr. and Mrs. Hawkins enjoy making their way to?”
Candidate Hawkins – “Pleasant Grove has gone from being a small town to a city with more than 40,000,” he said. “The fun thing about that is its bringing more and more places to chose from to eat.
Of course who in Pleasant Grove doesn’t like the Purple Turtle?! ( The Purple Turtle is a burger and shake shack, literally painted purple, known in Utah for decades and featured on the Food Network.) we love Chubby’s, Firebird Pizza, and my wife loves the fresh Tex-Mex she can get at Costa Vida. We tend to stick local for where we go out to dinner.”
Candidates.vote – “Candidate Hawkins you served a two year Mormon mission in South Korea. There are some unique food choices in Korea. How’d you do with the Korean barbecue and kind of pickle – Kim chi?”
Candidate Hawkins – “Oh man I still love Korean barbecue,” he said excitedly. “My first love are the ribs and then the bulgogi (marinated and BBQ’ed over rice). I liked the Kim chi (cabbage based pickled vegies served as a side and next to the rice) when I was there and would eat it. Since coming home several years ago I’ve not eaten very much of it.”
Candidates.vote – “So having lived in South Korea for two years what is your opinion of North Korea and South Korea having met and the plans for President Donald Trump and Kim coming together?”
Candidate Hawkins – “My feeling is anytime you can get two different groups together it’s a good thing,” he said. “That goes for the Koreas and United States . For Republicans and Democrats. Or neighbors meeting over a land dispute.”
Candidates.vote – “So you obviously went to your family first and told them you were running. What was the reaction?”
Candidate Hawkins – “Everyone thinks I’m nuts! They are so supportive, but of course can’t come with me to all the meetings and events. They send me off with a good luck and tell me to go get them.”
Candidates.vote – “So you have four children. All very young, which means you’ve got a lot of juggling you and your wife have had to do?”
Candidate Hawkins—“We have four children and we love going to the activities they are involved in. We have a 13, 11, 8 and 5 year old who are involved in everything from dance, soccer, baseball – you name it.”
For more information go to www.jonhawkins.vote
By Clark H. Caras