By: Jen Russon
When Commissioner Grace Solomon’s term expires in November, one of two men will step into the District 2 seat; Diego Pfeiffer and Richard Walker.
Proud residents of Parkland, both are active participants in city life. Since both are new to the political arena, each may offer unique backgrounds and skill sets.
Pfeiffer, 18, is a 2018 graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas and was at the school when the February 14 gun massacre occurred. Thankfully, he was not in the 1200 building. Since then, he has been a part of March for Our Lives movement.
Pfeiffer was born in Missouri and lived in Puerto Rico for two years, then in Ft. Lauderdale before his family settled in Parkland. His two younger sisters, Isabella and Catalina, attend Parkland schools. His has resided in South Florida for nine years – or half of his life.
Currently in Italy for a choir tour until July 7, he has plans to actively campaign through Election Day. He said that his background in performing arts makes him an energetic and empathic candidate.
“I was active in just about every theatre activity there was at my high school. I know how to make school safety a priority, and think my constituents need a commissioner who presents a unique student perspective.”
Pfeiffer said ten years from now, he hopes to be like Ronald Reagan – an actor who eventually becomes an elected official and activist.
“My parents are in international business and steered me clear of desk jobs like theirs,” said Pfeiffer. “They want me to channel my passion.”
“In the role of commissioner, I can look into city proposed gun legislature, school safety and after school activities for kids in my city,” he said, however, aware that a city commissioner has no authority to change gun laws, and does not oversee Broward County Public Schools.
At press time, Pfeiffer was not available to discuss his post-high school plans.
Walker, a father of five children, said he has heard nothing but good things about Pfeiffer, however, he hopes Parkland residents appreciate his experience as a business owner and as a husband and father of five children of all ages.
“I believe this gives me a unique perspective on the commission. I decided to run because I do love Parkland, the people and the way of life. While this is already a wonderful place, I know I can be part of making it even better.”
Walker, owner of the Bergen Sign Company in Pompano Beach, attended Rutgers University, with a major in criminal justice. He was actively involved in leadership roles with his fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi. He is a Parkland soccer board member and coach, little league baseball board member, and involved in Parkland baseball and flag football. He and his wife, Catherine have been married 17 years. The family moved to Parkland from Rockway, New Jersey nearly four years ago.
“We moved to Parkland for the schools,” Walker said, adding that his children Delaney, 14, Steffy James, 12, Scott, 10, Drake, 8 and Hayes, 4 all attend schools in the city, with his oldest child attending Marjory Stoneman Douglas this fall.
Walker’s campaign slogan is “Parkland Invested”. “I am committed to community safety, quality education, community pride and morale, as well as top-notch parks and recreation. I hope residents will vote for me.”
Parkland residents will have their chance to vote for their next District 2 city commissioner on Tuesday, November 6, 2018.
Jen Russon is a freelance writer and English Language Arts teacher. She has published two novels to Amazon Kindle and lives in Coral Springs with her family.