Feb. 12, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Hill Climbers: European Experience Inspires Aide

Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call
Although Paul Blocher attended school in Poland and finds Europe fascinating, he came to D.C. for a career in politics and is now working as chief of staff for Rep. Chip Cravaack.

After two months at the Holiday Inn, he landed an unpaid internship as a staff assistant with Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.).

By November 2007, Blocher was a legislative director. That was also the year he met his future wife, Sarah, while moonlighting as a policy analyst for the House Republican Policy Committee. A mutual friend of ours introduced us, he said.

Was it love at first sight? Ah, Im kind of private about that, he said. Ill just say were a great pair. 

With the help of a few connections back home in Wisconsin, Blocher was eventually hired as legislative director for Rep. Michele Bachmann, a Republican from neighboring Minnesota.

It was a very fast-paced environment, and there was always something going on, he said.

Bachmann has a reputation for high staff turnover, but Blocher had nothing but good things to say about her, sentiments that he echoed about his current boss, Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-Minn.), whom he started working for as legislative director when the former airline pilot came to Congress in January 2011. Blocher now serves as chief of staff.

I respect Chip, Blocher said. He never ran for office [before]. Hes a role model ... how a politician should act. 

Send news of hires and promotions on Capitol Hill to climbers@rollcall.com.

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