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Hill Climbers: Aides See Opportunity In New GOP Majority

Tom Williams/Roll Call
From left: Jason Isakovic, Izzy Santa and Shane Skelton are new staffers in the office of Rep. Bob Latta this year.

The 27-year-old staffer, who hails from Madison, Wis., graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2005. He then pursued a law degree from Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles, although he never intended to become a lawyer.

“I’m just a books and history guy,” he said. “I like the policy side and was always dying to work in public policy.”

After completing his degree in 2010, he came to D.C. to intern for Rep. Jim Jordan, figuring it was the best way to get his foot in the door. His stint in the Ohio Republican’s office gave him the necessary ties to Latta’s office.

Skelton started in the office in February and calls his portfolio, which includes energy, agriculture and defense, “awesome” and “fun.”

As a college student, Isakovic had his eyes on the Capitol. At Kent State University, he joined several student organizations and did a social justice internship. After graduating in 2006, he was a personal aide for then-Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) in his district office.

“I spent a lot of time with Voinovich helping him wind down the end of his career, which was great,” the 26-year-old staffer said. “But after he retired, I knew it was time to get to D.C.”

Since starting in January, Isakovic has focused on constituent outreach and the Congressman’s mail system. Although it was an adjustment to move to a significantly smaller office, he says it’s a welcome change.

“You get to know people a lot more,” he said. “Everyone just really works together. It’s a positive environment, and it’s really enjoyable to work in.”

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