Posted by on February 03, 2015 in Blog

When you speak to Jay Farhat you can feel how deeply he cares for the city of Jacksonville, Florida. His dedication and commitment to public service is evident in his 23 year history with the city. It is no wonder that when his family and friends insisted he run for Sheriff, Farhat took it as an even greater opportunity to serve his community. 

Jay’s father immigrated to Jacksonville from Ramallah, Palestine in 1947. He quickly established their family grocery store as a staple business in the community. It was in his family’s grocery store that Farhat learned the value of hard work. He reflects, “I am proud that when my father came to this city in 1947 with nothing in his pocket, he made a name for himself and our family.”

Farhat has great pride in his Arab American identity and attributes his deep roots to the role his parents played in his life. In talking about his upbringing, he said, “Heritage is the foundation of who you are. My parents laid the foundation of hard work and family values in me from birth.” Today, Farhat’s leadership style is built on key principles he learned from his parents: surround yourself with good people and good management to get a mix of ideas that lead to the best solutions; always treat people how you would want to be treated; and always do what is ethical and right.

With a concern for doing what is right, it is not surprising law enforcement has always been a major driver in Farhat’s life. Since earning his degree in Political Science with a minor in Criminology, his two decade long career in law enforcement has taken him from an internship in the Florida State Attorney’s Office to his current position supervising many of the major units in the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.  And it is his passion and the values learned at home that have led Farhat to set his sights on becoming the next Sheriff in Jacksonville. 

The Arab American community in Jacksonville has rallied behind Farhat and his campaign for Sheriff. Farhat is a member of both the Ramallah Club of Jacksonville and the Salaam Club - and has seen a great outpouring of support from both organizations. Although Farhat is an Arab American, these organizations have also supported him because of his work ethic and deep ties to the community that have cemented him as a leader.

On top of being involved with the local Arab American community, Farhat is also an active member in the Jacksonville Rotary Club, is on the Board of Governors for the University Club, as well as the Board of Directors for Catholic Charities. With strong ties to Jacksonville’s community organizations, Farhat has promised to lead the Sheriff’s office into stronger relationships with community leaders.

When asked what he wants the people of Jacksonville to know about him, Farhat responded “I’m running for Sheriff because I love my city and my culture, and I know that a dedicated and effective law enforcement agency is critical to the continued success of our city.  This is my home and I want it to be safe for your family and mine.” 

With elections coming up in March, Farhat’s campaign for Jacksonville Sheriff has showcased his lifelong dedication to public service and the centrality of the values his family has instilled in him.

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