Jared Rice wants to represent District 3 on the New Rochelle City Council. He is running on the Democratic and Working Families lines.
His opponent is New Rochelle small-business owner Peter Parente, who is running on the Republican, Independence and Conservative lines.
The outcome of the race will determine which political party will have control over the City Council. The District 3 council seat is currently filled by Roxie Stowe, a Democratic Party nominee who was appointed to fill the position left vacant by the death of her husband, Councilman James Stowe. There are now four Democrats and three Republicans on the City Council.
Rice, 31, is a public defender throughout Westchester as well as an attorney at Rice & Rice Attorneys at Law, a multi-specialty law firm founded in 1983 by Rice's parents, J. Roger Rice and Gail B. Rice, who also works as a judge in New Rochelle.
Jared Rice recently launched a sports law practice, representing top-level athletes. He graduated from Delaware State University in 2001, where he was a Division I athlete, later graduating from North Carolina Central School of Law in 2004.
We caught up with Rice to ask him some crucial questions every aspiring public official should address in today's skeptical political environment.
Robert Rennie: "What elected official do you most admire?"
Jared Rice: "The elected official that I most admire is our President Barack Obama, because he is such an inspirational figure. It was during the 2008 presidential election that I got the urge to become more involved in public service. As a well read, highly intelligent family man, President Obama exemplifies the traits that I seek to emulate."
RR: "Describe how your private sector experience will inform your decision-making while in office?
JR: "As a small business owner in my family law firm of Rice & Rice Attorneys at Law, I have developed a sense of responsibility when it comes to handling large budgets, employee relations and overall management responsibilities. I understand that small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and am proud to be a partner in a small business that has hired numerous District 3 residents for the past 20 years. With unemployment levels at an all-time high, it is important that our local businesses continue to keep their doors open and to create jobs."
RR: "How does your morality or personal code of ethics affect the way you view the world?"
JR: "My level of morality is consistent with my religious and spiritual beliefs in which I always put God first. I understand that if I am elected, I will be in a position to create many opportunities for people who need a helping hand. I believe that everybody should be able to live the American dream regardless of his or her race, religion, social status or past history. I would like to use District 3 as an example of what can be accomplished if people of all different backgrounds work together for the common good."
RR: "What are some community organizations or groups that you've been affiliated with over the years?"
JR: "As a longtime resident of New Rochelle, I have been involved with many community groups and organizations. Throughout my entire childhood, I was an active member of the Remington Boys and Girls Club which is located in District 3. When I returned home from law school, I became a member of the New Rochelle Bar Association and other legal groups. Most recently, I was selected as a member of the Board of Directors of the New Rochelle First Lego League, which gives children an opportunity to get a head start in the fields of science and engineering."
RR: "What are you most proud of in terms of your professional or personal life?"
JR: "In my professional life, one of my proudest moments was passing the New York State Bar Examination, because I put a tremendous amount of work into the preparation. In my personal life, my proudest moment was when my wife and I became parents to our beautiful baby daughter; it was at that moment that I understood the true meaning of life."