SANTA CRUZ -- Incumbent Rep. Sam Farr, D-Carmel, breezed past his Republican opponent, Jeff Taylor, and was re-elected with 73 percent of the votes in the 20th Congressional District on Tuesday.
Farr, 71, a senior member of Congress, has served on the House Appropriations Committee -- responsible for distributing the federal budget -- since 1999. He will be serving his 11th term in Congress.
Farr currently represents the 17th District, but redistricting after the 2010 census led to a shift in district boundaries. The new 20th District covers most of the same area as the 17th, but also includes new areas in Santa Cruz County and some parts of Gilroy in Santa Clara County.
Farr picked up 69 percent of the votes in Monterey County, 81 percent in Santa Cruz County, 62 percent in San Benito County and 77 percent in Santa Clara County.
Farr's ocean conservation efforts and work on behalf of the agricultural industry are popular in his liberal district, where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2-to-1. Farr outstripped his opponents in the June primary, garnering 64 percent of the votes.
Taylor, a 53-year-old Salinas resident, has run several agricultural businesses since 1996. He is a staunch social conservative -- he is pro-life and anti-gay marriage. He favors reducing regulations and social welfare programs. This is Taylor's third challenge against Farr, having previously run in 2008 and 2010.
Farr's immediate plans include
U.S. House of Representatives, 20th District
Sam Farr, Democrat 110,960
Jeff Taylor, Republican 41,266