Feb. 6, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Vacancy: Congressional Offices That Lose Members Still Function

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call
The office of Rep. Donald Payne, who died earlier this year, is being run by his staff under the supervision of the Clerk of the House. The office’s main priority now is constituent services.

“We made a conscious decision early on that Gabby was elected Representative of this district and one crazed gunman would not overturn the will of the people,” former Communications Director C.J. Karamargin said. “So we assumed, and in a way we needed to believe, that Gabby would return to work. In our minds, she never left. She was injured on the job while performing her duties ... and we were determined to keep the office running while she recovered.”

The staff sought out Members who allied with
Giffords in the past on many of her legislative priorities, such as border security. Staffers looked for lawmakers who could champion her causes.

“She always said that being a Representative is not just a job, it’s a job description,” Karamargin said.

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