To donate via check, please send a check addressed to "Russ for Ward 4" to 1500 Charles Avenue, St Paul, MN 55104.


Russ Stark was elected to represent Ward 4 on the St. Paul City Council in 2007.  His priorities in office have been ensuring that the Central Corridor Light Rail project is done right, improving city policies related to sustainability, and maintaining high quality city services.

Prior to being elected St. Paul’s Ward 4 City Council member, Russ spent seven years working for University UNITED, a nonprofit coalition of residents and businesses that promotes transit-oriented development along University Avenue. 

For three years, he directed the Midway Transportation Management Organization (TMO), and then helped oversee the TMO’s merger with the Downtown St. Paul TMO into what is now St. Paul Smart Trips.  Russ has been a board member of Smart Trips since he took office in 2008.  Smart Trips works to make sustainable transportation the safe and easy choice in St. Paul.


Russ was valedictorian of his high school class at Chaparral High School in Las Vegas, NV. He graduated with honors and a degree in political science from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. He chose Swarthmore after being awarded a Eugene Lang Scholarship for public service, which allowed him to work as a community organizer in Chester, Pennsylvania during college. He worked with this low-income, predominantly African-American community to resist the introduction of more polluting industries into an already heavily impacted community and to organize around environmental justice and improved health.

His senior year in college, Russ received a Truman Scholarship to attend graduate school. The Truman Scholarship is awarded to only 75 college students across the U.S. each year for work and future careers in public service.

After college, Russ worked for two years at Clean Air Council, a nonprofit environmental advocacy organization in Philadelphia.  He then received a Master’s degree in Urban Affairs and Public Policy, with a specialization in community development, from the University of Delaware. 


Russ lives in Hamline-Midway with his wife Betsy Murray, and children Isaac and Abbey who attend Saint Paul public schools. The Murray-Starks have lived in the neighborhood since 1999.

Russ and Betsy met their first day at Swarthmore together.  They were married in 1997. The family moved to St. Paul in 1999 so Betsy could begin her pediatric residency program at the University of Minnesota. During their first few years in Minnesota, Russ was the primary caretaker of Isaac and Abbey due to Betsy’s grueling schedule.

Betsy is a pediatrician at the University of Minnesota. She cares for children with emotional and behavior problems and also trains other professionals in this area.

Russ enjoys reading, playing basketball, cooking, traveling, walking, biking, and spending time with his family.