Mark S. Pafford

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Mark S. Pafford
Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 86 district
Preceded by State Representative Susan Bucher, (Dem-West Palm Beach, FL)
Personal details
Born (1966-04-11) April 11, 1966 (age 48)
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Tracy Pafford
Profession Non Profit Executive/Consultant
Religion Jewish

Mark S. Pafford is a West Palm Beach, Florida Democratic politician who serves as the representative for District 86 of the Florida House of Representatives. He was first elected to the Florida House in 2008.[1] On November 6, 2012, Rep. Pafford was re-elected to serve a third term in the Florida Legislature. He continues to be known as an advocate for vulnerable Floridians and as a voice of reason. He is also a strong proponent of the need to reform Florida's tax structure and lessening the burden on middle class Floridians. Rep. Pafford has been described as one of the most tenacious members of the Florida Legislature. For his work, in 2013 he was selected as a "Middle Class Champion" for the third consecutive year.

Rep. Pafford was born in rural Dade County, Florida on April 11, 1966. He is married to Tracy L. Pafford and has two children - Audrey (21) and Brendan Pafford (17). Rep. Pafford graduated from North Miami Senior High School in 1984. Although he played soccer for all 4 years, he was also was a member of the Pioneers football team where he was a prolific field goal kicker. He once kicked a 65-yard field goal during practice. A knee injury ended his football career. He went on to earn his Associate of Arts degree at Miami-Dade Community College in 1986 and his Bachelor of Public Administration degree at Florida International University in 1988, with a minor in Political Science.

Early on, he served as a naturalist with the Metro-Dade Parks and Recreation Department at Arch Creek Park in North Miami, Florida. He subsequently began his legislative career, however, as a congressional aide to Congressman Lawrence J. Smith (Dem) from 1989 to 1992. Pafford moved to Palm Beach County in 1993 after Hurricane Andrew hit Dade County in August 1992. There, he was hired as a senior coordinator for the Village of Royal Palm Beach, Florida Recreation and Cultural Centers from 1993 to 1996. He then joined the legislative office of State Representative Lois Frankel (Dem) as a legislative assistant, working there until 1997. Rep. Pafford also played important roles with the Area Agency on Aging of Palm Beach/Treasure Coast and The Lord's Place (homeless service provider).

He made previous bids for elected office - for Florida House District 85 in 2002 and for the Palm Beach County Commission in 2006. After more than 20 years of working in community based non-profit organizations, including the CEO of the Alzheimer's Association Southeast Florida Chapter, in 2008, he was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in an unopposed election. Not long after his election in 2008, Representative Pafford was chosen to serve in the Caucus leadership as a Deputy Minority Whip. He currently serves the Democratic Caucus in a leadership role as the Democratic Caucus Public Policy Chair (2013-2014).

During his first session in 2009, Rep. Pafford sponsored several successful pieces of legislation. He passed legislation that improves the cost effectiveness of special districts, sponsored a House Memorial that calls on the U.S. Congress to appropriate more funding for in-home services for seniors and people with disabilities, was the House sponsor for a bill that closed a corporate documentary stamp loophole, and worked with legislators on both sides of the aisle to pass legislation that created more opportunities for homeless people seeking shelter.

In the 2010 legislative session, the representative helped pass two important pieces of legislation. One bill removed the statutes of limitations on sexual abuse of minors - thus, allowing a child abused under the age of 16, the ability to seek justice and recourse later in life as an adult. The second bill permitted the use of special agents by state attorneys for corruption and organized crime.

In 2011 Rep. Pafford successfully passed legislation that made it more difficult for criminals to use child pornography downloaded to "clouds" on the internet. Also, after three years, seniors will now be considered as part of development plans in the State of Florida. Affordable Housing for seniors is a priority for Rep. Pafford.

Appointments and Committee Assignments

In 2009, the Speaker appointed Rep. Pafford to the Public Service Commission Nominating Council. He has previously served on numerous committees relating to health care and the environment. In 2013, Rep. Pafford currently serves on the House Appropriations Committee, the Health and Human Services Appropriations Committee, the Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Committee (Ranking Democrat), the Health and Human Services Policy Committee the Joint Legislative Budget Commission.

Since 2010, he has helped organize opposition to state budget cuts proposed by Governor Rick Scott and the legislature. Rep. Pafford uses social media heavily and is seen as an active member of the legislature. He can be followed on Twitter (@markpafford), Facebook (Mark Pafford Campaign and Mark Pafford), and has his own YouTube Channel (Mark Pafford) where many moments of his career can be viewed.

Palm Beach County Legislative Delegation

In 2012, Rep. Pafford was elected by fellow Palm Beach County Legislators to serve as Chair of the Palm Beach County Legislative Delegation. As Chair, he has been responsible for leading the delegation on state matters. In February of 2012 Rep. Pafford called a meeting in the state capitol concerning Sea Level Rise. The meeting, the only such workshop on the matter ever conducted in Tallahassee, was attended by Republicans and Democrats from Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties. Representative Pafford remains very involved in the matter and will be part of C-SPAN covergae on the matter during the week of July 4, 2013. The workshop can be viewed in the video library section at the Florida Channel's website.

On July 15, 2013, Rep. Pafford will Chair a Palm Beach County Delegation Public Hearing on the matter of Health Care Expansion in West Palm Beach in response to the Florida House refusal to expand Medicaid.

Awards and Recognitions

Rep. Pafford has received numerous commendations for his work. The Palm Beach County League of Cities and the Florida League of Cities have combined to recognize him each of his years in the legislature.[citation needed] in 2013, he was recognized by the Fraternal Order of Police as its Unsung Hero Award Recipient. For his work on Everglades restoration and commitment to Florida's unique environment, he was named the Florida Audubon's Society's 2013 Legislative MVP.[citation needed]

Representative Pafford remains one of the most active, constituent connected public officials in the State of Florida. His Town Hall meetings are routinely standing room only and his schedule is rigorous.