Rick Dantzler

Telephone: 863-268-8285

Email: rickd.smithlaw@gmail.com

Title: Attorney at Law and Mediator

Practice Areas: Agricultural Law, Representation of Property Owners, Mediation, Environmental Law, General Civil Litigation

Admitted: 1983, Florida

Education: University of Florida (B.A. Political Science, 1978). University of Florida, J.D., 1981.

Biography: Rick Dantzler is a third-generation Floridian, raised in Winter Haven. He was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 1982 at the age of 26. After serving in the House for eight years, he was elected to the Florida Senate and served for another eight years.

Rick resigned from the Senate in 1998 to run for governor of Florida. Later that year he accepted Buddy MacKay’s invitation to become his running mate, and they became the Democratic ticket for Governor and Lieutenant Governor.

After leaving public service, Rick devoted his time to practicing law and mediating, but in 2013 he accepted an appointment from President Obama to become the State Executive Director of the Farm Service Agency within the United States Department of Agriculture, an agency that administers much of the Farm Bill. He served in that capacity for three years, leaving at the end of President Obama’s administration.

When not working, Rick enjoys all sports – especially golf – and hunting and fishing. He also enjoys writing, having written three books, including the highly acclaimed Under the Panther Moon, and numerous newspaper columns and magazine articles.

Rick is married to Julie Pope, also of Winter Haven. They have two daughters.