“I just needed to find out for myself if this was really what I wanted to do, but it was a definitely a case of absence makes the heart grow fonder,” he said. “I saw the 2008 election unfold and I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of. I had to come back.”
When the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee started adding staff after the presidential election, Hodge immediately hopped on board to work as deputy press secretary and new media director. Two years later, an opportunity arose to work for the Majority Whip, which Hodge said he couldn’t pass up because of the lawmaker’s outstanding reputation in the community.
Since becoming press secretary for Clyburn, Hodge has not only jump-started new media initiatives, but also aided the office in a fight for a leadership position after Democrats lost control of the House in November.
“It was my first foray into a leadership race, with two Members who have great respect for each other, and it was fascinating to say the least,” Hodge said with a laugh. “I’m glad there was a resolution and the Whip is excited about his new position. It was a 24/7 operation, all hands on deck, but that’s just the industry.”
The industry is exactly what brought Hodge back in the first place. After his two-year hiatus from the Hill, the staffer rekindled his innate passion for politics and vowed that he is here to stay.
“I can make more money on Wall Street or as a lawyer. There are other more lucrative careers,” he said. “But the satisfaction for me is not comparable. And that’s why I’m here.”
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Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.