Who am I?
Rob was born and raised in Newport News and is a 1998 graduate of Woodside High School. A public service ethic was instilled in him at an early age. His father is a police officer, formerly a detective in Newport News, and currently a Lieutenant in Poquoson. His mother retired from Human Service Administration at the local government level and is currently a consultant who works primarily with organizations in the public and non-profit sectors.
Rob’s grandfather, uncle, and great-grandfather were Newport News firefighters. Rob continues the family legacy of public service in Hampton Roads. He is a Firefighter/Paramedic serving the citizens of Hampton since 2005. He obtained his National Registry Paramedic certification through Tidewater Community College in 2008. Through performance of his duties in Hampton Fire and Rescue, Rob and several fellow firefighters were awarded the Gold Medal of Honor in 2007 and the Gold Medal of Valor in 2008 for emergency rescues they participated in.
Rob has been married to his wife, Tamorah (Tami) Park Farinholt since 2007. Tami is the Coordinator for Community Service at Old Dominion University’s Office of Student Activities and Leadership. Together they own a home in Newport News and care for a special needs dog.
Community involvement and charity work are cornerstones of Rob and Tami’s lives. Rob is a member of the Hampton Professional Firefighters Association Local #2450, an affiliate of the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) where he has participated in fundraising for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Tami is a member of the Junior League of Hampton Roads and a founding member of Backing the Thin Line, an organization dedicated to supporting significant others of police officers and firefighters. Tami is also a current member of the LEAD Hampton Roads class. Rob and Tami regularly support various charitable organizations such as the Salvation Army, the ASPCA, and several animal rescue groups throughout the nation. Rob and Tami are members of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Hampton.
Why am I running?
I’m running for the House of Delegates to represent all of us in the Legislature and get us the respect and results and we deserve. I’ve spent my whole life in Hampton Roads. I don’t like what I am seeing out of Richmond – Our area is hurting, and all the current representatives want to discuss is the most partisan of politics - extreme bills violating our privacy rights, cutting up our state into districts that don’t make sense, splitting us up instead of bringing us together to move forward. Richmond isn’t working, and our area needs results.
Right now only a handful of our Delegates come from blue-collar backgrounds, and none have public safety backgrounds. We work hard in Newport News – we build the ships and technology that powers commerce in America and keeps us safe. We need people that will work as hard as we do and understand our challenges. We need real results for the real people of Newport News, and we aren’t getting them with our current representation.
1)Our local economy depends greatly on federal spending, from our local businesses and restaurants, to Newport News Shipbuilding. With severe cuts to federal spending and local employers closing, we need a plan to keep our talented workforce employed. We need a comprehensive bill to help the unemployed and returning vets engage in the work force. From day one, I’ll work to make sure we are focused on helping our citizens find work and achieve their true potential.
One example and area where I have particular expertise is public safety. I would like to work on creating commonwealth-wide incentives to help veterans enter public-safety careers and continue strengthening our communities.
2) Women's rights are under fire in Virginia, and it’s time we put that fire out. My opponent, David Yancey has voted with the elements in our state on every aspect of reproductive rights and restricting the freedom to make personal health choices. He voted for bills to require an ultrasound prior to abortion, and for severe personhood legislation. I am committed to protecting a woman's right to confidential patient-doctor relationships, where medical decisions can be made in her best interests, free from government interference. I’ll stand up for our rights and work to roll back the extreme bills passed last legislative session.
My DFA Values
Community: My love for my community is why I became a firefighter/paramedic and why I got into this race. My main priority every day is to keep my community safe and healthy. I have seen what happens when government doesn’t do its part. We need leaders with a strong commitment to public safety, education, transportation and the economy – and our budget should reflect that. It currently does not.
Security: One of the primary duty of the government is to protect its citizens. Virginia and its localities accomplish this vital responsibility with law enforcement and fire-rescue agencies. Continuous budget cuts reduce the effectiveness of these agencies, causing reductions in staffing, readiness, and quality of equipment. Our safety, as citizens, must not be compromised by cuts to the budgets of public safety agencies.
To be truly secure, we also need to make sure people have the power to become economically secure. That includes the training and tools they need to compete in the workforce, as well as the employment opportunities they need to achieve financial independence.
Liberty: People deserve the freedom to live and love as they choose. That means we need to push back against extreme attacks in Richmond on reproductive rights, privacy and our LGBT brothers and sisters. Virginia is a beautiful and diverse commonwealth, and our laws should reflect that.
My Campaign is People Powered!
1) I’m a firefighter – I don’t have deep pockets or many wealthy friends. We have already received donations from over 150 people, most under $100. The people powering my campaign are police officers, firefighters, teachers, nurses and laborers. I’m running a grassroots campaign to put their interests and their voices out front. With that in mind, we’re using our resources efficiently, always focusing on voter contact.
2) We’re building a powerful field program focusing on voter engagement. Canvassing works great in this urban and suburban district, and we’re building a robust field program with my fellow firefighters and activists, getting as many boots on the ground as possible.