Jeff Farrington, 46, is running for re-election as state representative. He’s lived in Utica and Sterling Heights for 33 years.
1) What led you to try for the post of state representative initially?
The initial reason I ran for state house was because of the economic situation; children moving out of state to find jobs and knowing that the state and federal government at that time was hindering economic growth. I wanted to make a change and in our state I think we’re seeing the effect of proper economic policy with the unemployment rate dropping and personal income numbers improving.
2) What do you plan to focus on if re-elected?
If re-elected, my primary focus will remain the economy and job growth. Other areas of focus will be in education, regarding curriculum for skilled trades careers and getting dollars to the classroom. At the college level it’s about doing what we can do hold down tuition increases so that a higher education is still possible. Likewise, maintaining our roads and infrastructure needs to climb higher on our spending priority list. Giving them the needed resources and holding MDOT accountable.
3) What personal and professional accomplishments are you most proud of?
On the personal side it’s the family that I’m most proud of. I’ve been married to Diana for 26 years as of August and my two sons, Mitch, 22, and Nick, 19, have become men that I’m very proud of. On the professional side, it was becoming a vice president of a national company at 36, starting my own business and growing it to millions in revenue and now being selected as Legislator of the Year by the Small Business Association of Michigan. Each step of the way I’ve depended on strong people around me and I appreciate that.
4) Is there one person who has been the most influential in your life? Who?
My father was the most influential person in my life and I’m sorry that he passed away before I got involved in politics, because I think he would have enjoyed it. He worked hard, he was the most honest person I’ve ever met, he gave of his time to his church and he was always kind to others. I hope I’m half the man he was.
5) What are key ways you would have residents make a difference locally?
Over the past several years I have learned first hand that to make a difference, you need to get involved. Not that everyone has to run for political office, but at least get to know the candidates, go to events when they’re in public, communicate and participate. Those that are elected to lead do listen, but very few get involved and let their perspective be heard. This is true at all levels of government, in your business and in your community. Likewise, get involved with a local charity or community organization. There are fewer better things than the feeling you get when you help others.
6) What do you like most about the Shelby Township community? Do youhave a favorite spot in Shelby?
The question is about my favorite spot or thing about Shelby. I’m going to answer it two ways – one is Shelby, second is Utica where I come from. In regards to Shelby, I love Stoney Creek. I remember sledding there as a child, walking for ALS annually, and the various picnics I’ve gone to. It’s a great resource. In Utica – I love the old buildings of downtown. Muldoons for a beverage on their patio or joining my wife for a burger and fries at the Shamrock.