Mark S. Pafford

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Mark S. Pafford
State Representative Mark Pafford.jpg
Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 86th district
Assumed office
November 20, 2012
Preceded by Lori Berman
Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 88th district
In office
November 18, 2008 – November 20, 2012
Preceded by Susan Bucher
Succeeded by Bobby Powell
Personal details
Born (1966-04-11) April 11, 1966 (age 49)
Miami-Dade County, Florida
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Tracy Pafford
Children Audrey, Brendan
Alma mater Florida International University (B.A.)
Religion Judaism

Mark S. Pafford (born April 11, 1966) is a Democratic member of the Florida House of Representatives, representing the 86th District, which includes Haverhill, Loxahatchee Groves, Royal Palm Beach, and Wellington in east-central Palm Beach County, since 2012, previously representing the 88th District from 2008 to 2012.


Pafford was born in unincorporated Miami-Dade County in 1966 and attended North Miami High School, graduating in 1984. After high school, he was a student at Miami-Dade Community College, receiving his associate degree in 1986, and then at Florida International University, where he received a degree in public administration in 1988. Following graduation, he worked as a naturalist at Arch Creek Park in North Miami. Pafford then worked for United States Congressman Lawrence J. Smith as a congressional aide from 1989 to 1992, and later worked for State Representative Lois Frankel as a legislative assistant from 1996 to 1997.

Florida House of Representatives[edit]

In 2002, when Frankel, his former boss, was unable to seek re-election in the Florida House of Representatives due to term limits, Pafford ran to succeed her in the 85th District, which stretched from Wellington to Lake Worth. He faced Shelley Vana, a teachers union president, in the Democratic primary, and narrowly lost to her, receiving 46% of the vote to her 54%.

Pafford experienced more success in 2008, when State Representative Susan Bucher was unable to seek re-election due to term limits in the 86th District, which stretched from Boynton Beach to Boca Raton in eastern Palm Beach County. He won the Democratic primary and the general election unopposed, winning his first term without any opponents. In 2010, he faced a challenge from Ron Miranda in the Democratic primary, who claimed that Pafford had an insufficiently pro-business voting record and criticized Pafford for his poor standing with Associated Industries of Florida. Pafford responded by calling attention to his voting record and observing that some of the votes that were considered to be votes against the business community were not, noting, "If you look at what I voted against, you'll find things like Senate Bill 6 on education, you'll find some of the Medicaid reform. It's a lot of the bils that group into that pro-business type of votes by the chamber that weren't necessarily business votes."[1] He ended up defeating Miranda to win renomination, scoring 58% of the vote to Miranda's 42%, and advancing to the general election, where he faced only a write-in challenge and won re-election with 95% of the vote.

When the state's legislative districts were redrawn in 2012, Pafford ran for re-election in the 86th District, which contained some of the territory that he had previously represented. He faced Tami Donnally, the Republican nominee and a business administrator, in the general election. Pafford earned the endorsement of The Palm Beach Post, which criticized Donnally and praised Pafford for his support for Medicaid expansion under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and for his opposition to the law that required the closing of "the state's only tuberculosis sanatorium."[2] Pafford ended up defeating Donnally with ease, receiving 60% of the vote to her 40% and winning his third term.

Though State Representative Darryl Rouson was initially elected to serve as House Democrats' floor leader for the 2014-2016 legislative term, he was ousted by the caucus. Pafford, in turn, ran for the position himself and defeated fellow State Representative Alan Williams to win the leadership position, by a vote of 29-12 vote.[3] Pafford serves as the Minority Leader for the 2014-2016 legislative term.


  1. ^ Abramson, Andrew (July 21, 2010). "Miranda touts business creds in Democratic primary challenge of state Rep. Pafford". The Palm Beach Post. Retrieved May 10, 2014. 
  2. ^ Schultz, Randy (October 18, 2012). "Editorial: Choose Pafford in Florida House district 86". The Palm Beach Post. Retrieved May 10, 2014. 
  3. ^ Van Sickler, Michael (September 25, 2013). "Florida House Democrats choose Mark Pafford as new leader". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved May 10, 2014. 

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