Ralph Haben

Ralph H. Haben, Jr. is an American attorney, lobbyist, and politician who served as the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives from 1980 to 1982. Haben graduated from the University of Florida in 1964 and Cumberland School of Law in 1967, and began working as a government prosecutor, first for the city of Palmetto, Florida and then for the Twelfth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida.

Haben eventually became a judge before running for the Florida House of Representatives in 1972. In the House, he served on numerous committees, including the Criminal Justice Committee, and eventually became Speaker.

Haben left the legislature to run for Florida Comptroller in 1982, but lost the only election in his electoral history. He briefly considered a run for Governor of Florida, but decided instead to become a lobbyist for many large interests in the state legislature.

Haben was known as a fairly conservative Democrat who focused on criminal issues; his tenure including multiple attempts to increase the penalties on criminals and create new task forces and funding to combat organized and violent crime. He also sought a number of tax increases to help pay for transportation costs, and opposed both the state Sunshine Amendment requiring that politicians disclose their financial assets and the Equal Rights Amendment.