Richard Stark (politician)
|Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 104th district
November 20, 2012
|Preceded by||Franklin Sands|
July 26, 1952 |
New York City, New York
|Alma mater||University of Denver (B.A.)|
Richard Stark (born July 26, 1952) is a Democratic member of the Florida House of Representatives, representing the 104th District, which includes southern Broward County, stretching from Pembroke Pines to the Collier County border, since 2012.
Stark was born in New York City, New York, and attended the University of Denver, where he graduated with a degree in political science in 1974. After that, he moved to the state of Florida, where he worked as a private insurance agent, and for twelve years, lobbied the state and federal government to pass health care reform.
Florida House of Representatives
In 2012, following the reconfiguration of Florida House districts, Stark opted to run in the newly created 104th District, based in Broward County, including the cities of Pembroke Pines, Weston, Southwest Ranches and the Everglades Wildlife Management Area. In the Democratic primary, he faced Robin Behrman and Alanna Mersinger, and he campaigned on education reform, noting, "Of the people that are running in this race, I've spent almost the entire time as a private businessman but I do have an education background. I know what it's like to be on the education side. Education is really important to me." Stark narrowly defeated both of his opponents, receiving 39% of the vote to Berhman's 32% and Mersinger's 29%. Advancing to the general election, Stark faced Douglas Harrison, a former prosecutor and the Republican nominee. Though Stark was praised by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel for his plan to "bolster public education, particularly the state's universities and their ability to offer scientific and technical programs to help the state's workforce," the paper endorsed Harrison, citing Stark's likelihood to be a "reliable Democratic vote." In the end, Stark defeated Harrison in a landslide, winning 61% of the vote, and was sworn in later that year.
Stark was re-elected to his second term in the legislature in 2014 without opposition.
- Carney, Heather (October 2, 2012). "District 104 voters to choose between former prosecutor and insurance agent". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved May 14, 2014.
- Haughney, Kathleen (July 31, 2012). "Principal, activist and insurance agent vie for House District 104 spot". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved May 14, 2014.
- "State House Districts 99 and 104: Choose Schwartz and Harrison". Sun-Sentinel. October 15, 2012. Retrieved May 14, 2014.