Ricardo Rangel (politician)
|Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 43rd district
November 20, 2012 – November 18, 2014
|Preceded by||Jimmie Todd Smith|
|Succeeded by||John Cortes|
June 5, 1977 |
New York City, New York
|Political party||Democratic Party|
|Children||Andres, Linda, Diana|
|Alma mater||Warner University (B.A.) (M.A.)|
Ricardo Rangel (born June 5, 1977) is a former Democratic member of the Florida House of Representatives, representing the 43rd District, which is based in northern Osceola County, and includes Buenaventura Lakes, Campbell, Kissimmee, and Poinciana, serving from 2012 to 2014.
Rangel was born in New York City, in The Bronx, and moved to the state of Florida in 1999. Upon graduating high school, he enlisted in the United States Army, and served for twelve years as a financial manager before he was honorably discharged as a sergeant. Following his service in the military, Rangel worked for a number of nonprofit organizations, including Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, and ran a number of political campaigns across the country. He ended up attending Warner University in Lake Wales, where he received both his bachelor's and master's degrees in management, and was the first person in his family to graduate from college.
Florida House of Representatives
In 2007, when incumbent State Representative John Quiñones, a Republican, resigned from the legislature to run for the Osceola County Commission, Rangel ran in the special election to succeed him in the 49th District. Once Rangel saw that support was growing for Soto, Rangel suspended his campaign. Rangel also sent Soto a check in a sign of support. Being that it was a special election Rangel could not have his name removed from the ballot.
When the legislature districts were redrawn in 2012, Rangel opted to run in the newly-created 43rd District, and won the nomination of the Democratic Party entirely uncontested, and advanced to the general election, where he faced Republican nominee Art Otero, the Vice-Mayor of Kissimmee. Rangel received the endorsement of the Florida Police Benevolent Association and the Florida AFL-CIO; he was outraised by Otero, who also claimed the endorsement of the Orlando Sentinel, which criticized Rangel for running an "under the radar" campaign and for being a "cipher to voters." Despite this, however, Rangel defeated Otero in a landslide, winning 68% of the vote.
While serving in the legislature, Rangel sponsored legislation that lowered the requirements to receive Florida Bright Futures scholarships, citing the example of a constituent in his district who, despite earning a high grade point average, earned a lower score on the SAT Reasoning Test than the minimum standard to earn a scholarship.
- Giunta, Eric (January 9, 2013). "Ricardo Rangel: Rising Star to Focus on Job Training, Veteran Mental Health, Internet Sales Tax". Sunshine State News. Retrieved May 1, 2014.
- Pino, Mark (March 11, 2007). "6 Democrats vie for Quinones' seat". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved May 1, 2014.
- Breen, David (October 23, 2012). "Otero, Rangel vie for House seat in majority Hispanic Osceola district". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved May 1, 2014.
- "For House Districts 49, 50, 43". Orlando Sentinel. October 9, 2012. Retrieved May 1, 2014.
- Evans, Nick (April 22, 2014). "House Democrats' 'Unfinished Business' Unlikely To Be Finished". WFSU. Retrieved May 1, 2014.
- Derby, Kevin (August 26, 2014). "Primary Upset: John Cortes Beats Florida Rep. Ricardo Rangel". Sunshine State News. Retrieved November 27, 2014.