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Huckleberries Online

HucksOnline Interviews Jimmy Farris

HucksOnline is interviewing Democratic congressional candidate Jimmy Farris (a former professional football player who played in the NFL for 8 years with San Francisco, New England, Atlanta, Washington & Jacksonville. He's wearing a huge Super Bowl ring earned during his time with New England). You can see Farris' Web site here:

Question: Is it harder to play in the NFL than it is to run for Congress as an Idaho Democrat?

Jimmy Farris: There are a lot of parallels. I was a long shot in both situations. I was definitely an underdog to make it to the NFL out of Lewiston, Idaho. I'm average size — 6 foot, 200 pounds. But so many things that I used to achieve that goal of playing in the NFL are the exact things I'm using now to run a campaign as a Democrat in a state where I'm a long shot.

  • Question: Such as what?
  • Jimmy Farris: The fundamentals. Hard work. Commitment. Dedication. Passion. And a desire to strive for something that's really important to me.
  • Question: Has any of your former coaches or colleagues contacted you about this race?
  • Jimmy Farris: I've been in regular contact with (former Washington Redskins) Coach Joe Gibbs. I've sought his advice. We talked about what he felt was important to people, characteristics and qualities that are missing from Congress. He talked about the need for people who want to do what's right and fix problems.
  • More below

  • Question: Isn't Gibbs a conservative?
  • Jimmy Farris: He is. But he's like most people that, regardless of party affiliation, people are tired of division and partisanship and the things coming out of Congress, like inability to work as a team to solve problems that affect 100s of millions of people. I think he'd vote for me if he was in Idaho.
  • Question: How would you describe yourself in terms of conservative or liberal?
  • Jimmy Farris: I don't like either of those terms because I think they can be misleading. I'm a Democrat at the core. I believe in the role of an effective, efficient government. I believe in programs like Medicare and Social Security. I believe in a society where so many have benefited and done so well. At certain times we need to do what we can to do what's right and best for people who are struggling.
  • Question: Where is Congressman Raul Labrador vulnerable?
  • Jimmy Farris: He's failed to address any issues that directly affect the people of Idaho. He went to Congress with a specific agenda which he describes as fundamentally changing the way business is done Washington. Since he's been there, things have gotten worse. Congress has record low approval ratings. And more and more things have failed to get done. He was recently quoted as saying that he didn't come to Washington to be part of any team. He's really missing the concept that serving in the U.S. Congress is the epitome of team work and being part of a team.
  • Question: Where did you get dthe political itch?
  • Jimmy Farris: I've always had a strong desire to be in a position where I could make an impact in things that matter to me. When I was deciding what I wanted to do after football, I kept coming back to the fact that I wanted to help people and be in a position where I could make effective change for them and help people in day-to-day lives. Serving in U.S. Congress is one of best places to make that impact. So many people along the way made sacrifices for me, invested for me, stood up for me, and really had my back when I had an opportunity to pursue my dream. And what matters most to me now is to be in a position where I can do the same.

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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