West Palm Beach Rep. Mark Pafford Ready For Life After Politics

Mar 7, 2016

A bag of packing peanuts, a computer and some pictures are about all that's left in Rep. Mark Pafford's office inside the Capitol. This is his eighth and final year as a representative in the Florida House.
Credit Gina Jordan/WLRN

House minority leader Mark Pafford, D-West Palm Beach, is finishing up his last regular legislative session.

He's leaving because of term limits. "This process is better when you have new minds and fresh ideas," Pafford says. For the record, he doesn't like term limits and calls his departure an "involuntary constitutional resignation." 

But Pafford is ready to focus on his new job as CEO of Florida CHAIN, a healthcare advocacy group. He says his political career will be over at the end of his term. "I've done a lot of things I'm very proud of," Pafford says. "I don't regret any votes I’ve taken."

Even so, Pafford is leaving Tallahassee with some of his priorities left undone - like Medicaid expansion and a state plan for dealing with climate change and sea level rise.

"This governor has an opportunity to make Florida a premier place to invent technologies, to do research and development on not only armoring coastlines but also fixing this big issue which will probably be a monumental public policy issue for the next century," Pafford says.  He talks with WLRN's Gina Jordan about the "circus atmosphere" of the legislature and how Gov. Rick Scott can create "real jobs."