With new member orientation starting today, Capitol Hill welcomes a brand new crop of lawmakers. In their midst are a few freshmen HOH is particularly interested in getting to know better.
Rep.-elect Kerry Bentivolio, R-Mich.
This teacher and reindeer farmer owns Old Fashioned Santa & Co., a Santa impersonating business. He has previously claimed to be the real St. Nick and a Kerry Bentivolio impersonator the rest of the year.
Rep.-elect Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii
Gabbard, the first Hindu elected to Congress, has served all over the world (Iraq, Kuwait, Indonesia) as a member of the Hawaii Army National Guard, working as a field medic and a military police platoon leader.
Sen.-elect Angus King, I-Maine
With King’s victory, the number of male senators with facial hair has doubled from one to two. The number of hirsute senators will swell again this winter, assuming Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., grows his yearly beard. Until Coburn stops shaving, though, all eyes will be on King’s stabilization of facial-haired senators.
Rep.-elect Mark Takano, D-Calif.
Two generations of his family suffered the indignities of the Japanese-American internment camps during World War II. His election is both trailblazing (first openly gay minority elected to Congress) and business as usual (one of 42 Harvard University alumni ready to serve in the 113th Congress).
Rep.-elect Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas
He’s a seasoned veteran of the El Paso City Council, an entrepreneur and a father of three who supports legalizing marijuana. We, however, remain obsessed with his days as the singer-guitarist of homegrown hardcore band Foss. And he’s a big fan of the old D.C. hardcore punk scene.
Rep.-elect Ted Yoho, R-Fla.
Yoho is central Florida’s best-known large animal veterinarian who doesn’t shy away from bringing his work into politics. A campaign videos featured a pigsty where pigs were played by actors in suits, and he invited a reporter to watch him help castrate a miniature horse.
Correction: Nov. 13, 12:49 p.m.
An earlier version of this article misstated the number of freshmen in the 113th Congress who are alumni of Harvard University. The correct number is 42. We initially counted Sen.-elect Elizabeth Warren, who taught there but is not an alumna.