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Government and Politics

Rep. Farr says immigration reform is priority during his final term

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Another long-serving member of Congress from the Central Coast says this term will be his last. Representative Sam Farr announced Thursday he's stepping down after 23 years in Washington. 

Farr told KCBX he's approaching the age of 75 and it's time for him to spend more time at home with his family.

He said before his time is through in Congress, he'd like to complete comprehensive immigration reform.

"We have the votes on the floor to do it, we just don't have a Republican leadership that's able to get a bill out of their caucus and bring it to the floor. They know it would pass every issue, whether it's border security, the Dream Act, or how do you make people who have come here undocumented pay a fine and become legal has all been worked out," said Farr. "We have the language there, we just have to get it to a vote."

California's 20th Congressional District includes Monterey and San Benito Counties and the city of Santa Cruz.

Earlier this year, Central Coast Representative Lois Capps announced her retirement as well. She serves all of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties.

Cal Poly political expert Michael Latner said unlike the possibility of the seat flipping in the 24th District, Farr's announcement won't change much in terms of party dynamics.

"While it does open up a seat and there will be some mandatory competition. Republicans will essentially put up a 'sacrificial goat' to go up against whoever takes on being Farr's replacement. The district there is heavily Democratic," said Latner.

Farr said there are several talented Democrats who could run for his seat including California Secretary of Natural Resources John Laird and State Senator Bill Monning. 

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