Fortney Stark DID win an election last month.

Perhaps Congress hasn’t seen the last of the Stark family.

Though 40-year incumbent Rep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont, has just been unseated by fellow Democrat Eric Swalwell, Fish Stark – the congressman’s 17-year-old son – was elected president of the 2012 Princeton Model Congress last month in Washington D.C., chosen by an electorate of 853 participating students from across the nation.

Here’s his stump speech:


Fish Stark – whose actual name is Fortney Hillman Stark III – is a senior at the Key School, a private school in Annapolis, Md. He’s pictured in the photo below standing between the two “Fish 2012” signs, wearing a red tie and yellow name tag.

Fish Stark
(Click photo to enlarge.)

Note the campaign slogan: “We Need Stark Change.”

The 24-student Key School contingent did well – not only did President Fish reign, but they also managed to pass 18 bills while one student won a gavel (comparable to a first-place award) and two others won honorable mentions.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • moderatevoter

    I just checked the tuition fee schedule for this high school Stark’s kid goes to, the Hill School. $24,500 per year. Wow.
    As I remember it, these rich-kid kids of Stark’s are drawing social security even though Stark is worth 30 million and these kids of his are driven to their $24,000 a year prep-schools in a limo every day. I don’t think this is what Franklin Delano Roosevelt had in mind when he created social security – I’m sure of it.
    While these kid’s of Stark’s may have qualified for social security legally, I think Stark used terrible judgement when he marched his kids down to the social security office to sign up for the “free money” from the government. This money aint free, it comes from hard working taxpayers.
    I think the issue of Stark’s kids being on social security was a legitimate campaign issue in the just concluded 15th Congressional campaign. More and more voters – such as myself – have become disgusted in our elites, Wall Street, CEO’s, Congress, the whole lot of them. Greed seems to be the order of the day, all of the time. I hope this new 31 year old Congressman – Erik Swalwell and the new Congress that was elected with him – represents a new generation of leaders, leaders that aren’t always trying to load up on the goodies for themselves, which has been the case with modern CEO’s, Wall Street types, and yes, even Congressman like Pete Stark.

  • RR, Senile Columnist

    God bless you and God bless the United States of America!

  • moderatevoter–“driven to school in a limo every day”? That’s a laugh and a half.

    Dad’s legislation made it so that everyone who went to an emergency room gets seen regardless of ability to pay. He made it so that folks who lose their jobs can still keep their health insurance. He protected Medicare and Social Security when Republicans were fighting to kill it for good. If you want to talk about people who were only in it for themselves, find another politician to point the finger at.

    Eric, you won. Why you and your cronies still feel the need to conduct a smear campaign against an 81-year-old veteran is a mystery to me.

  • And thanks, Josh, for the nice article!

  • Josh Richman

    @5 – You’re very welcome; congratulations, and best regards to you and your family.

  • Jack Fox

    Moderatevoter, I can understand your position, and agree that there are far too many children in this country incapable of understanding that their position is not the norm and, similarly, incapable of appreciating it. However, having known Fish Stark personally, I can say honestly that I have never known anyone more aware of their own position as someone who has been gifted with both the power to change the lives of those around him and the kindness to do so for the better.

    Don’t judge someone when you don’t know them.

  • Bob

    *KEY. The KEY school. *headdesk* Dude, you can bash ex-Congressman Stark’s fantastic son (who is two grades above me) and make up lies about him all you want, but sometimes it’s a good idea to actually read the article you are commenting on?

  • Max Holmes

    Grow a pair moderatevoter stop be so sinical if you actualy have some facts to say say them or just be quiet.

  • I have known Fish Stark since he was 3 years old, I have never known them to be driven in a limo but his mom brought him to school in a carpool most of the time. The Stark family is intent on teaching good personal values, they are giving, kind and generous. Fish is 17 years old, an accomplished writer, speaker and as you can see a gifted leader. Kudos to you Fish! If there were more Fish in the Seas like him the world would be a much better place. Shame for trying to cheapen the successes of a young person, who desires nothing more than to change the world for the better!

  • steve weir

    Although you are not king, yet you get some (apologies to Shakespeare), what’s the future play, here?

    I can only hope that people will step up to the challenges of public service. I have just under 40 years and I still hold my position as one of public trust.

    New generation, I’m just sayin’. Hope they have it, for all of our sakes.

  • Elwood

    Max, you really need to learn to spell.

  • laszlo herwitz


    your statement is BOTH incorrect AND irrelevant! The point of this article is to point out Fish’s achievement, congrats btw fish, not to discuss his father’s positions or campaign. I think that the saying “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything” is particularly apt in this case

  • GV Haste

    I congradulate Fish Stark on his accomplishment at the “Model Congress”. I’m sure that whatever he decides to do in the future, he will find success.

    Perhaps a opportunity to run for congress will become available before he reaches age 60.

  • John W

    Watched the video. This is an obviously talented young man. And I love the way he stood up for his dad. I’m one of those who benefitted from COBRA.

    However, if he goes into politics, FISH might want to re-think the Rod Blagojevich hair style. Just kidding.

  • RR senile columnist

    This Fish fry has run its course