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“Obviously we’re very supportive of the troops, and we want to give something back,” Vetter said.
She added that McAfee recently got married and, “in newlywed style,” is always baking for her husband.
Other staffers are involved in the competition because of a serious love of cupcakes. Jodi Richardson, scheduler for Rep. Todd Young (R-Ind.), loves them so much she used to work in a bakery in Indianapolis.
“Its hard to eat a cupcake and not be happy,” she said, adding that baking and eating the treats always reminded her of family birthday parties.
Her partner, Lexie Hosier, a staffer in the office of Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.), said that she always baked cupcakes for friends in Indiana and that making them here has helped her settle in to D.C. life.
“[Cupcakes] are always something I’ve made for offices I’ve worked in as a thank you,” she said. “For me, it’s kind of a touch of home.”
Richardson and Hosier said they were planning to practice for the competition all this week.
“We’re still in the test-kitchen period,” Richardson said. “This next week will be full of butter and flour and sugar.”
All that practicing is likely to please their co-workers, as they plan to bring in batches of baked goods to their offices.
“My chief of staff already said that I can only do this competition if I bring cupcakes into the office,” Hosier said. “The staff will be on a sugar high!”
While Richardson and Hosier plan to work hard to craft the perfect cupcake, James McKitrick and his partner Caroline Ingram, interns in the office of Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.), are hoping to wow the judges with their thematic adherence to their team name.
“We’re Team Debt-Busting Cupcake,” McKitrick said. “It’s an issue that the Congressman cares deeply about. In the spirit of our team name we will pay for our materials upfront with cash and not with credit, so our future generations can enjoy cupcakes debt-free.”
McKitrick’s team application was also patriotic, submitting a cupcake-themed retooling of the national anthem.
Its name: “A Star-Sprinkled Banner.”