A Heartfelt Tribute From The Son Of Pete Stark

STARK | There is probably nothing more powerful than a thoughtful young man willing to examine adversity and still finding hope at the end of tunnel.

A day after Fish Stark’s father lost his seat in Congress, the 16-year-old political prodigy of Pete Stark did what most young people do in this day of social media, he poured his heart out on Facebook. Except, instead of telling us what he had for dinner, like most teenagers do, or denigrating the musical chops of Justin Bieber, Fish instead wrote a heartfelt salute to his father’s legacy (see below), sprinkled with a bit of the old man’s tenacity. And, wait, did he just announce his candidacy for Congress in 2022?

Dad said to me once that being a Congressman was like being a symphony conductor: they both got up every day knowing that they were going to make someone’s life a little bit better.

He lost his election last night, in the wake of a campaign filled with lies, innuendo, and attacks on his age, his service, and our family.

I’m not going to do anything but hold my head high. I’m proud to be the son of a man who went to work with the one simple goal of helping people who needed it. I’m proud that he wrote the COBRA law that helped people keep their health insurance between jobs. I’m proud that he wrote the law ensuring that everyone who needs emergency room care gets it, whether they can pay or not. I’m proud that he was the architect of Obamacare. I’m proud of the work he did for technology in schools, foster children, and students with dyslexia.

Dad doesn’t believe in politics as we know it. He believes in saying what he means and doing what he knows is right, not dancing around the truth or going with the flow. That frankness and that courage helped him do wonderful things. It also gained him enemies and, ultimately, lost him an election. I wouldn’t have it any other way. He fought hard for forty years and never compromised his values. That, to me, is as clear a win as you can get. He taught me that the most noble thing you can do is to have the courage to stand up for what’s right, for others, and for yourself, even if you have to sacrifice to make it happen.

Dad’s career is over but his legacy is not. We will always need leaders who believe that those in positions of power have a responsibility to help those in need. We will always need those who believe in being bold and speaking truth to power. The developers, Republicans, and the pharmaceutical companies that spent heavily to defeat him haven’t heard the last of the Stark family. Not by a long shot.

13 thoughts on “A Heartfelt Tribute From The Son Of Pete Stark

  1. The kid is just as delusional as his nut father. Stay back in Maryland you spoiled little brat. We had one Trust Fund punk for 40 years. We don't need his spawn coming back in 10 years.


  2. I don't understand why people still use the Bush insult as an attack against Stark. Left leaning constituents don't care one bit about Bush and would welcome any insults towards what many regard as one of the worse president's in American history.


  3. Good for you Fish. Good for you. You should be proud and so many of us are of you and Pete. Best to you and your family.


  4. Although i have some good things to say about Pete, i really do not appreciate the above impostor using my name to express his opinion. The fact that Pete's son is already trying to claim the seat shows that there is something seriously wrong in the Stark family.
    Please cease and desist using my name or else use an initial if your real name is the same as mine.
    Tony Santos


  5. All of you should be like Pete's young son: i know the family well and I can assure everyone, the coongressman's children are well rounded and all will be successful-his 16 year old has already written a book-how many of you have done that? I have written several but none published and for some crazy reason I never completed any;I know there will be many writings from Pete's children. Tony Santos


  6. I wouldn't be so proud to admit to being the architecture of Obamacare and cobra insurance who can afford that


  7. I realize the kid is only 16, so I'll go easy on sonny boy, however, there is this prevailing attitude of entitlement. This is the case with both Democrats and Republicans. It is almost dynastic in proportions. Nobody else can 'achieve' what the predecessors did, and therefore, 'I must serve.' I refuse to go along with that 'sentiment.' There are plenty of good people out there who have not yet become corrupted. Not to worry, it happens eventually to almost all of them. Junior Bush 'had to avenge daddy' with Iraq, and junior Stark probably will try to 'pick up the mantle' where daddy's knees were cut down–above the waist, no less.

    Sorry, sonny. You have a right to pursue your own ambitions in your own right. However, your final statement is all too telling and your motivation is more than suspect. My advice to you: become a mortician; world will always need, well-paying, and much more respected than a congressman. This should be the final chapter of the 'Stark legacy.'


  8. Cindy,
    “Pete was beat by a small fraction of a human being”

    Are you referring to that small fraction of Pete which people found objectionable?

    Or, are you referring to Swalwell as
    ” a small fraction of a human being” ?

    Quite a difference in how one might read that.


  9. It had been a rough 24 hours and when I first read this on Wednesday night the dam burst, the tears flowed. Fisher captured so much of what I was feeling if unable to write or say myself. I found myself crying so hard I had to hand the computer to my husband – I couldn't talk, I could barely make a sound. To me Pete is not some abstraction, he is not a face on a newspaper page, he is not a myth or some created legend. He is the man I have known for nearly 15 years, who has served with distinction peppered by his daily brand of brash and often vulgar words but there is simply no doubt about the facts – he has represented this area as he lives, with passion, commitment and bluntness.

    It has been the honor to work for Congressman Pete Stark and to become a part of the Stark family. It didn't go the way we hoped the other night – Pete was beat by a small fraction of a human being but Fish Stark is so much like his dad – passionate, caring, articulate. Pete and Fish, I thank you both so much.


  10. What can you say, its his son.
    He should highlight the positives from Pete's long career. As a son, he should be proud of those items he cited.

    Regarding forces that “spent heavily to defeat him”
    Uh, Pete outspent Swalwell 2 to 1.


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