New Jersey’s Newest Representatives Get Introduced to DC Life
WASHINGTON — After a bruising election season the newest members of the House of Representatives from New Jersey made the trip to the nation's capital to find their offices and learn more about their new jobs.
The past week was orientation for the newest representatives, and while some from New Jersey lined up with party leaders to start their time in the city, others used the first week to fulfill promises to go against the leadership. Rep. Nancy Pelosi is expected to be chosen as the next speaker of the house when the Democrats take control in January, but some freshmen like Rep.-elect Mikie Sherrill have said they will oppose her return to the speaker's chair.
Sherrill posted a video on her Facebook account on Thursday talking about what her week has been like. Events have included a dinner under the Capitol rotunda, and walking onto the floor of the House of Representatives for the first time. She described that as one of the highlights of the week as she prepares to succeed longtime Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen.
"The most amazing thing about it is the group of people that I'm getting ready to serve with," Sherrill said in the video, noting the wide variety of backgrounds in the new members as well as a large number of women being sworn in.
As she gets to know her new colleagues, including those who will be entering Congress at the same time as her, Sherrill said she was encouraged to see the common goals they have going forward. That includes working on infrastructure reform, tax reform, health care and others. Sherrill said she hopes to hold a town hall meeting with her new constituents sometime during the week of Jan. 14.
One of the people standing alongside Pelosi at a press conference last week was Rep.-elect Tom Malinowski. In a video on his Facebook page Malinowski was anxiously awaiting the lottery to find out where his new office in Washington D.C. would be among all his new colleagues.
After winning one of the closest elections this year, Rep.-elect Andy Kim brought along a good luck charm as he made the trip from South Jersey to Washington. Kim shared a picture of a four leaf clover that he said he wore when he wore as a diplomat in Afghanistan, and then wore again during the lottery to find his Washington office.
"All very hectic and I'm glad we got a great space for NJ03," Kim said in a post on his Facebook account.
Like his fellow congressional newcomers Kim said he was excited to find his capital office, and was also going to start the process of looking for office space in his district.
New Jersey now has just one Republican representative in longtime Rep. Chris Smith, with the 11 other seats being held by Democrats.
The new Congress officially gets sworn in and starts working on Jan. 3.