Mark Lunsford Considering Running for Florida House of Representatives

After his 9-year-old daughter's slaying two years ago, Mark Lunsford became a highly visible national advocate for tougher child protection laws. Now he says he may run for state office.

Lunsford said he is considering running for the state House of Representatives if his district seat opens up soon.

An opening will depend on whether Gov. Charlie Crist picks state Sen. Nancy Argenziano for one of two seats on the Public Service Commission. If that happens and Argenziano resigns from the Senate, state Rep. Charlie Dean, R-Inverness, said he will run for the vacant Senate seat, which would open up Dean's House seat if he wins.

That could clear the path for Lunsford to run in a special election.

"Next week I'll know for sure," he told the Citrus County Chronicle for a story published Thursday. "I've got an appointment with someone who will help me decide. That's a big step. It's a big responsibility."

Lunsford did not return a message left on his cell phone Thursday by The Associated Press.

The Homosassa truck driver is a Republican and has never run for office. He said no one has talked to him about running, and he knows it won't be easy.

"There's a lot of issues at hand, not just with children," he told the Chronicle. "Someone like me, just a truck driver turned advocate, there's a lot I'd have to learn about what the community wants as far as working in Tallahassee."

Jessica Lunsford was 9 when neighbor John Couey kidnapped her from her bedroom, raped her and buried her alive in his yard in February 2005. He was convicted this month and a jury has recommended a death sentence. A judge will decide the penalty.