Central Coast’s longest serving member of Congress will not seek reelection after 12 terms in office
SALINAS, Calif. – Rep. Sam Farr, D-Calif., announced today at speech a the National Steinbeck Center that he will not seek reelection in 2016 and instead will retire in January 2017 at the end of his current term in office. Farr is the Central Coast’s 20th district’s longest serving member of Congress and is the ranking member on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture.
During his 23 years in Congress, Rep. Farr has been a leading advocate for California agriculture, an activist for affordable housing, a champion of the oceans, a strong supporter of the Peace Corps and the author of legislation to establish Pinnacles National Park
“For years my wife Shary has asked me to come home,” said Rep. Farr. “She's right. It's time. It's time to come home and spend time with her and with my daughter Jessica and my grandkids Ella and Zach.”
Rep. Farr was first elected through a special election to fill the vacancy when then Rep. Leon Panetta resigned to become President Clinton’s budget director. Prior to being elected to Congress, Rep. Farr spent 12 years in the California Assembly and six years as a Monterey County Board of Supervisor. His career in public service dates back to 1964 when he was a Peace Corps volunteer in Colombia.
“For over half of my life, I have been in elected office, the last 23 as a member of Congress,” said Rep. Farr. “I love public service and I am proud of what I have accomplished while in office. I'm proud to have followed in my father's footsteps, the late Senator Fred Farr, and I'd like to think between the two of us we have had a tremendous impact on this region, the state of California and the country we love so much”
Rep. Farr made significant contributions to improving the quality of life on the Central Coast. He secured funding for the nation’s first, built from the ground up, joint VA-DOD health clinic; the California Central Coast Veterans Cemetery; a state-of-the-art marine laboratory; California State University, Monterey Bay; and authored legislation to establish the 59th National Park.
“The Central Coast is stronger,’ said Rep. Farr. “As a region, we are well positioned to seize the next set of challenges.”
In addition to his work on behalf of the Central Coast, Rep. Farr was a strong supporter of the oceans and worked in Congress to protect our greatest natural resource and the blue economy that depends on a healthy ocean. He played an instrumental role in bringing the first White House National Oceans Conference to the Monterey Bay and authored many of the provisions included in President Obama’s National Ocean Policy. The founder and co-chair of the House Oceans Caucus, he passed the Marine Debris Act and is currently pushing legislation to combat the growing problem of ocean acidification.
At the end of his term, Rep. Farr will retire to his home on the Central Coast to spend more time with his wife Shary, their daughter Jessica, and his two grandchildren Ella and Zachary.