California Democrat Farr announces retirement

12 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Congressman Sam Farr announces retirement.

Congressman Sam Farr announced today at a speech at the National Steinbeck Center that he will not seek reelection in 2016 and will retire in January 2017 at the end of his current term in office.”As the congressman views the lay of the land for the coming political season, it is clear that 2016 is shaping up to be a different kind of election on the Central Coast,” according to an invitation to today’s press conference. “With this new perspective the congressman is revamping his campaign and this announcement is the first step.

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. And I was just thinking about, what do you do with the rest of your life?” Farr said, recalling how his wife urged him to “come home.” Farr was first elected in a 1993 special election to succeed Leon Panetta, who had resigned to become director of the Office of Management and Budget in the Clinton administration. President Barack Obama carried it by a 45-point margin in 2012. “Sam Farr’s district in the California Central Coast is one of the most beautiful districts in the country, from farmlands to the pacific ocean,” Michael Trujillo, a California Democratic strategist, told CQ Roll Call in an email Thursday. “You have a growing latino population along with a 2.5:1 Democratic voter registration edge. This district will remain in the Democratic column for the foreseeable future.” The rarity of an open seat in California, and the opening of this particular seat after more than two decades, could make for a crowded primary. From the Monterey County Board of Supervisors to the State Legislature to the Congress, he has for over 40 years fought to protect our quality of life.

Because of the state’s top-two election system and the heavy Democratic tilt of the district, it’s possible that November’s general election will be a contest between two Democrats. Bill Monning, the current majority leader; and Assemblyman Luis Alejo, who is planning a move to Salinas to run for county supervisor after he terms out next year—are all rumored to be considering a run for Congress.

Farr’s retirement had been the fodder for speculation the past year with Jimmy Panetta and Jason Burnett having been mentioned as possible Democratic candidates for the position. Farr’s retirement marks another loss for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who saw the retirements of two of her closest California allies last cycle: former Reps. Representing the “salad bowl” of California, a big agricultural center in the state, Farr was one of only 28 House Democrats who voted for fast-tracking Trade Promotion Authority earlier this year.

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