Life goes on for Jerry Foxhoven, the former head of Iowa’s Department of Human Services pushed off his perch last month.
But the revelation of the lawyer’s appreciation for rapper Tupac Shakur, which included “Tupac Fridays” and Tupac-themed celebratory cookies on his birthday, has captured eyes across the nation following his June 17 ouster.
Foxhoven has said he doesn’t think more than 350 pages worth of emails — obtained by the Associated Press — referencing the rapper led to his forced resignation from the leadership role. But the fact that Foxhoven sent one of his emails shortly before the sacking led some to wonder if his fandom might have cooked his goose.
Foxhoven told NPR, “I’m a 66-year-old white guy from the Midwest who likes rap music, who likes Tupac!”
He said he used Tupac’s music to show staff member’s he’s just a normal guy. And while he was aware at least one staffer didn’t always appreciate his recurrent Tupac references, he said he enjoyed breaking stereotypes about who listens to rap.
Many employees in turn said they appreciated his emails. And many on the internet now acquainted with Foxhaven do too.
“Jerry Foxhaven 2020,” said Houston Chronicle online sports editor Matt Young in a tweet.
“Jerry Foxhoven for president,” echoed New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie, quote-tweeting a Complex chirp that indicated that Foxhoven lost his job over his fandom.
Foxhoven, whose last email about the rapper reached 4,300 inboxes, has swatted down the explanation of his termination. “I always try to assume the best of everybody, and I can’t imagine that [Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds] would base her decision on the Tupac incident,” he told NPR. “If this is the reason, I’m really disappointed.”
Foxhoven spent two years in the role. He said he didn’t get a chance to meet and speak with Reynolds about his forced resignation.
“A lot of factors contributed to the resignation of Jerry Foxhoven, and now Gov. Reynolds is looking forward to taking DHS in a new direction,” the governor’s spokesman, Pat Garrett, told the AP, declining to say if the changes had anything to do with the rapper who wrote “Changes.”
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