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Hill Favorite ‘Miss Kansas’ Retiring After 28 Years

Tom Williams/Roll Call

People know who Miss Kansas is.

Shes that voice carrying down the seventh floor hallway of the Longworth House Office Building.

Shes that friendly face in line at the cafeteria.

And now, after 28 years of working for three Members, shes retiring.

Ive had my thrill on Capitol Hill, said Carolyn Anderson, special assistant to Rep. Dennis Moore (D-Kan.). I think its time to let the young people take over and let them see what its all about. Its time to have time for myself.

The 62-year-old, who spends her days answering phone calls from constituents and welcoming visitors to the office, earned the nickname Miss Kansas while working for former Kansas Rep. Jim Slattery (D). Despite that description, shes actually a Washingtonian, born and raised.

She took an interest in getting to know the people of Kansas, Slattery said. I may have given her that nickname. I know it came from our office.

Growing up in the city, she never thought she would have anything to do with Congress, let alone work for its Members.

After she graduated from Eastern High School in 1966, she went to work for the American Council on Education. Thats where she remained for 17 years until 1983, when the higher education organization went through budget cuts and she was laid off. She was out of a job and, as a single mother, needed to support her daughter, Tamika.

A neighbor who worked in Longworth House Office Buildings post office mentioned that the House of Representatives, then in its 98th session, was hiring. Anderson went in, took a typing test and filled out a questionnaire. She was told that there was an opening in Slatterys office. After an interview with the Representatives staff, she was asked to start the next day. And just like that, her career on Capitol Hill began.

The years have been good to her. Thanks to her job and connections, shes attended receptions (Im going to miss those) and met people ranging from then-Sen. Barack Obama in 2008 (She just walked right up to him and told him she wanted to take a picture, recalls Brandon Naylor, Moores communications director) to Fred Rogers, better known as TV show host Mister Rogers (Oh, he was my favorite, she said).

Slattery, who represented Kansass 2nd district from 1983 to 1995, fondly recalls the time that Anderson was the person behind the front desk of his office, calling her one of the most dedicated employees he ever had. 

When someone walks into a Congressional office, that first impression is so important, he said. They set the mood. I trusted her and she never disappointed.

Thats what has made her a standout among the Hill crowd. Yes, shes a hard worker but shes nice, too.

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