PURCELLVILLE, Virginia – Michael Farris, a national leader in home-school education and the founder of Patrick Henry College, today announced his support for Bob Vander Plaats in the 2010 Iowa gubernatorial contest.
“Bob is a leader who really understands the core principles of liberty that were purchased at such a great price by our Founding Fathers. Government is here to protect our liberty not to grant our every whimsical wish only to be paid for by the next generation through massive debts,” Farris said today in a prepared statement. “Bob is a man of conviction, candor and compassion. He will make a great governor.”
Farris, who earned his law degree at Gonzaga University School of Law, founded the Home School Legal Defense Association in 1983 and continues to serve as its chairman and general counsel. Through his efforts, the HSLDA has secured a number of court rulings and policy changes favoring home schooling.
His cases as lead counsel include over 40 reported decisions by the U.S. Supreme court, five U.S. circuit courts of Appeal, seven state Supreme Courts, and five state Courts of Appeal. Farris successfully argued for the petitioner in a religious freedom case, the Supreme Court case Witters v. Washington Department of Services for the Blind in 1985-86. Education Week named Farris one of the most significant 100 “Faces of the Century.”
In 2000, the ordained Baptist minister founded Patrick Henry College as “a Christian institution with the mission of training students through a classical liberal arts curriculum and apprenticeship methodology to impact the world for Christ and for liberty.” Farris also founded Generation Joshua, an organization to mobilize Christian youth to participate in politics and get out the vote; ParentalRights.org, a parental rights advocacy group; and the Madison Project, which is a political action committee.
“Michael Farris is a servant leader and I’ve always called him a ‘real difference maker.’ Through his knowledge, faith and fearlessness, he has made a real difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of people across the country and helped shape a force of young political leaders dedicated not to doing well for themselves but doing good for their fellow citizens,” Vander Plaats said. “I saw firsthand the extraordinarily high regard in which Michael is held by so many people when he attended the Republican Party of Iowa’s 2007 Straw Poll event in Ames. Literally hundreds of people attended that event to see him and thank him for everything he’s done in defense of home school families throughout the nation. It is an honor to have the support of such an extraordinary man.”
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