Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Biography

Elected: June 1993, 10th full term.

Born: July 4, 1941, San Francisco, CA

Home: Carmel, CA

Education: Willamette U., B.S. 1963

Professional Career: Peace Corps, Colombia, 1963–65; staff, CA Assembly, 1965–75.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Episcopalian

Family: Married (Shary Baldwin) , 1 child ; 2 grandchildren

Sam Farr, a Democrat first elected in June 1993, is an ardent liberal and a man of the sea. He helped to create a U.S. commission on ocean policy in the late 1990s and has remained active in seeking to implement its recommendations for improving protections for oceans and coasts.

A fifth-generation Californian, he grew up in Monterey County, where his father was a state senator for many years. Farr signed up for the Peace Corps after college, learned Spanish at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and served two years in Colombia. (He accompanied President Barack Obama on a trip there in April 2012.) He was a California Assembly staff member for a decade, became a Monterey County supervisor in 1975, and was elected to the Assembly in 1980. There, he wrote one of the nation’s strictest oil spill liability laws. In 1993, when Democratic Rep. Leon Panetta resigned from the House to become director of the Office of Management and Budget, Farr ran for his seat. He entered the race as the overwhelming favorite, and won 26% of the vote in the all-party primary to defeat two other Democrats. But in the runoff, which came after President Bill Clinton’s budget and tax increase had arrived in Congress, he had trouble against Republican Bill McCampbell, whom Panetta had defeated 72%-24% seven months earlier. Farr won, but by just 52%-43%.

In the House, Farr has a solidly liberal voting record. He is a close ally of Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and a longtime advocate of normalizing relations with Cuba; he sent Obama a letter in 2009 signed by 46 House members outlining a 10-step process for doing so. On the Appropriations Committee, Farr guards against Republican attempts to cut the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s budget. In 2006, Farr helped to write the law revising rules for offshore fisheries, and in 2009, the House passed his bill to encourage a research and recovery program for endangered sea otters. The Obama administration issued an executive order in 2009 implementing a national ocean policy, and Farr urged lawmakers to pass legislation so that a future president couldn’t overturn it. But he lamented the GOP’s hostility to the idea. “Led by tea party conservatives, Republicans in Congress have launched a war on our oceans,” he said in July 2012.

Farr also looks out for his area’s tourism and agricultural industries. His bill to upgrade Pinnacles National Monument into a national park passed the House in July 2012, and he often talks up the need to control urban sprawl to protect tourism in Monterey County. “I tell people we sell scenery. Our job in the political world is to make sure that scenery is there,” he told a local audience in April 2012. After the local spinach crop was affected by an E. coli outbreak in 2006, Farr pushed for $25 million to aid producers, a provision that generated controversy after it was added to an emergency war spending bill. It was stripped from the measure that later passed. “It’s easy to make fun of spinach,” Farr said in defense of the subsidy. “But if we had eaten more of it, we would be a stronger society.” He also introduced a bill in 2009 calling for more fruits and vegetables in school breakfasts and lunches.

Nationally, Farr gets attention for some of his relatively extreme liberal positions. In 2007, he co-sponsored a resolution calling for the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney, and in 2011 was among the Democratic lawmakers taking part in a “hunger fast” to protest what they said were proposed GOP budget cuts that would affect those living in poverty in the U.S. and abroad. Farr has been reelected easily, including in a newly redrawn 20th District in 2012, when he got 74% of the vote.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-2861

(202) 225-6791

LHOB- Longworth House Office Building Room 1126
Washington, DC 20515-0520

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-2861

(202) 225-6791

LHOB- Longworth House Office Building Room 1126
Washington, DC 20515-0520

DISTRICT OFFICE

(831) 424-2229

(831) 424-7099

100 West Alisal Street
Salinas, CA 93901-2687

DISTRICT OFFICE

(831) 424-2229

(831) 424-7099

100 West Alisal Street
Salinas, CA 93901-2687

DISTRICT OFFICE

(831) 429-1976

(831) 429-1458

701 Ocean Avenue Room 318
Santa Cruz, CA 95060-4027

DISTRICT OFFICE

(831) 429-1976

(831) 429-1458

701 Ocean Avenue Room 318
Santa Cruz, CA 95060-4027

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(831) 373-4607

PO Box 122
Carmel, CA 93942

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

PO Box 122
Carmel, CA 93942

EXPORT CONTACTS » *

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Acquisitions

Troy Phillips
Senior Legislative Assistant

Aerospace

Morgan Keese
Legislative Assistant

Agriculture

Troy Phillips
Senior Legislative Assistant

Animal Rights

Rosie Julin
Legislative Correspondent; Legislative Assistant

Appropriations

Troy Phillips
Senior Legislative Assistant

Arts

Morgan Keese
Legislative Assistant

Budget

Ana Sorrentino
Legislative Assistant

Campaign

Rochelle Dornatt
Chief of Staff

Disability

Rochelle Dornatt
Chief of Staff

Education

Rosie Julin
Legislative Correspondent; Legislative Assistant

Energy

Troy Phillips
Senior Legislative Assistant

Environment

Troy Phillips
Senior Legislative Assistant

Zoe Gentes
Oceans Fellow

zoe.gentes@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2861

Foreign

Ana Sorrentino
Legislative Assistant

Govt Ops

Rochelle Dornatt
Chief of Staff

Health

Rochelle Dornatt
Chief of Staff

Rosie Julin
Legislative Correspondent; Legislative Assistant

Homeland Security

Debbie Merrill
Legislative Director

Housing

Debbie Merrill
Legislative Director

Internet

Troy Phillips
Senior Legislative Assistant

Judiciary

Morgan Keese
Legislative Assistant

Labor

Rochelle Dornatt
Chief of Staff

Land Use

Troy Phillips
Senior Legislative Assistant

Zoe Gentes
Oceans Fellow

zoe.gentes@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2861

Lobbying Politics

Rochelle Dornatt
Chief of Staff

Medicare

Rochelle Dornatt
Chief of Staff

Military

Debbie Merrill
Legislative Director

Native Americans

Morgan Keese
Legislative Assistant

Recreation

Rosie Julin
Legislative Correspondent; Legislative Assistant

Rural Affairs

Troy Phillips
Senior Legislative Assistant

Science

Troy Phillips
Senior Legislative Assistant

Tax

Ana Sorrentino
Legislative Assistant

Technology

Troy Phillips
Senior Legislative Assistant

Trade

Ana Sorrentino
Legislative Assistant

Transportation

Tom Tucker
Deputy Chief of Staff; Scheduler

tom.tucker@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2861

Debbie Merrill
Legislative Director

Welfare

Debbie Merrill
Legislative Director

Women

Rosie Julin
Legislative Correspondent; Legislative Assistant

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
Sam Farr
Votes: 172,996
Percent: 74.07%
Jeff Taylor
Votes: 60,566
Percent: 25.93%
2012 PRIMARY
Sam Farr
Votes: 68,895
Percent: 64.37%
Jeff Taylor
Votes: 23,905
Percent: 22.34%
Mike Lebarre
Votes: 5,487
Percent: 5.13%
2010 GENERAL
Sam Farr
Votes: 118,734
Percent: 66.65%
Jeff Taylor
Votes: 53,176
Percent: 29.85%
2010 PRIMARY
Sam Farr
Votes: 52,689
Percent: 88.79%
Arthur Dunn
Votes: 6,653
Percent: 11.21%
2008 GENERAL
Sam Farr
Votes: 168,907
Percent: 73.88%
Jeff Taylor
Votes: 59,037
Percent: 25.82%
2008 PRIMARY
Sam Farr
Votes: 53,057
Percent: 100.0%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (67%), 2008 (74%), 2006 (76%), 2004 (67%), 2002 (68%), 2000 (69%), 1998 (65%), 1996 (59%), 1994 (52%), 1993 special (52%)

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