From 2006 to 2012, Huffman was a member of the California State Assembly, representing the 6th district. Huffman chaired the Assembly Water, Parks & Wildlife Committee and also chaired the Assembly Environmental Caucus. He was elected to Congress in November 2012 with more than 70% of the vote, defeating Republican candidate Dan Roberts. His congressional district covers the North Coast from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Oregon border.
Huffman graduated from William Chrisman High School in 1982 and later received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science magna cum laude from University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was a member of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. At UCSB, Huffman was a three-time All-American volleyball player. Huffman was a member of USA Volleyball Team in 1987 when the team was ranked #1 in the world and had recently won the World Championship. He went on to graduate cum laude from Boston College Law School in 1990.
Huffman became a consumer attorney specializing in public interest cases. Among his court victories was a case on behalf of the National Organization for Women, which required all California State University campuses to comply with Title IX. Huffman was a senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council. He was also a publicly elected director of the Marin Municipal Water District for twelve years, including three terms as board president.
Huffman won the Democratic nomination for the 6th district in a hotly contested primary in June 2006 in which he surprised the political establishment with a victory over opponents Pamela Torliatt, a Petaluma city councilwoman, and Cynthia Murray, a Marin County Supervisor who was initially considered the frontrunner. Huffman also defeated Assistant State Attorney General Damon Connelly, Marin County Democratic Chairman John Alden, and sociologist Alex Easton-Brown.
Huffman defeated Republican opponent Dr. Michael Hartnett by a more than 2:1 margin in the general election on November 7, 2006.
Huffman faced two opponents in the November 2008 general election: Republican Paul Lavery and Libertarian Timothy Hannan. He won with 70% of the vote and the 137,873 votes he received were among the most by any California Assembly candidate in 2008. In the Democratic primary, Huffman was unopposed and received 57,213 votes—the most of any California Assemblymember in that election.
In the June 2010 California primary, Huffman easily defeated a fellow Democratic challenger Patrick Connally. Huffman faced Republican nominee Robert Stephens in the November 2010 general election. He won overwhelmingly with more than 70% of the vote—the highest winning margin of any candidate on the ballot in the North Bay that year. Due to California term limits, Huffman would have been unable to seek a fourth Assembly term in 2012.
In his first four years as a legislator, Huffman authored and passed more than 40 pieces of legislation.
In 2008, Huffman sponsored a bill (AB 2950), which he wrote with internet attorney Daniel Balsam that aimed to close what its proponents characterized as loopholes in the CAN-SPAM Act which made it more difficult to bring lawsuits against deceptive spammers. Although the bill passed the State Assembly and Senate, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed the bill. On February 14, 2011, Jared Huffman cosponsored a bill with Paul Fong, California Assembly Bill 376, to make it illegal to possess, distribute, or sell shark fins, unless for research or commercial purposes.
Upon his swearing-in on December 4, 2006, Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez immediately named Huffman the Chairman of the Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials. In August 2008, the new Assembly Speaker Karen Bass named Huffman to Chair the Water, Parks & Wildlife Committee.
After 20-year Democratic incumbent Lynn Woolsey announced her retirement, Huffman entered the race to run for her seat in the 2nd District, which had been renumbered from the 6th in redistricting. California's 2nd congressional district now covers six counties: Marin, Sonoma, Mendocino, Trinity, Humboldt, and Del Norte.
Huffman finished first in the top-two primary with 37% of the vote. In November, Huffman defeated Republican candidate Dan Roberts 71%–29%.
In his first re-election campaign in 2014, Huffman dominated the open primary, receiving 67.9% of the vote against 22.3% for second-place finisher Dale Mensing, a Republican. Huffman went on to defeat Mensing in the fall general election by 75 to 25%. The 2016 results were similar, with Huffman receiving 68.3% of the primary vote against 15.7% for Mensing, who again finished second, and defeating Mensing in the general election by 76.5% to 23.5%.Committee on the Budget
Committee on Natural Resources
Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources
Subcommittee on Water and Power
Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation
Congressional Progressive Caucus
The following is a partial list of legislation introduced by Huffman.California Coastal National Monument Expansion Act of 2013 – a bill that "would expand the boundary of the California Coastal National Monument to include 1,255 acres of federal land known as the Point Arena-Stornetta public lands; the new land is currently managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the bill would require the BLM to manage that land as part of the National Landscape Conservation System." The bill was freshman Congressman Huffman's first bill to be passed.
Preventing Government Waste and Protecting Coal Mining Jobs in America – is a bill that would "amend the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 to require state programs for regulation of surface coal mining to incorporate the necessary rule concerning excess spoil, coal mine waste, and buffers for perennial and intermittent streams published by the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement on December 12, 2008." Huffman opposed the bill, arguing that it should be opposed because the supporters "believe coal companies should be allowed to blow the tops off mountains and dump the waste into streams, no matter what the science says about the consequence for our environment and the public health."
Water Rights Protection Act – a bill that would prevent federal agencies from requiring certain entities to relinquish their water rights to the United States in order to use public lands. The bill was a reaction to the United States Forest Service's decision to pursue a "new regulation to demand that water rights be transferred to the federal government as a condition for obtaining permits needed to operate 121 ski resorts that cross over federal lands." Huffman opposed the bill and accused the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power of being unnecessarily "adversarial" and having "unfairly vilified" the Forest Service after a committee hearing about the bill.
Before he was elected, Huffman lived in San Rafael with his wife Susan and their two children, a daughter, Abigail (born c. 2000) and a son, Nathan (born c. 2003).
Hoffman's hobby is winemaking.