Texas Transplants

Posted June 6, 2008 at 5:31pm

Jennah Altemus and Roy Granger are a long way from their native Texas, but they’ve both found a comfortable home in Washington, D.C. The two are staffers for Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas).

[IMGCAP(1)]Altemus, who was promoted from staff assistant to legislative correspondent for McCaul in January, said she isn’t sure where she’ll end up, but her current setup works for now.

For one thing, she likes her boss.

“I think he’s great, and he’s from the Austin area, where I went to school,” she said.

Altemus, 22, comes from Houston. She likes Washington because it has both a metropolitan vibe and small-town feel.

“To me, D.C. is like the perfect mix of a big city, like New York, and a small city with character, like Austin, Texas, where I went to college,” she said.

The recent University of Texas graduate (she received her English degree in 2007) doesn’t have too many embarrassing moments on the Hill to report, but one gaffe with a new member of the office does come to mind.

“I introduced our new intern to the entire office by the wrong name,” she said. “So far, that’s the most embarrassing thing that I have done.”

“But,” she added, “I haven’t been here that long so who knows what I will do next.”

In her spare time, Altemus enjoys relaxing at home and spending time with friends. She’s looking forward to a summer of beaches and boats, taking road trips and visiting friends back home.

Granger is also a 2007 graduate. He earned his degree in political science from the University of Mississippi, and he came to Washington to put the degree to good use.

“I was a political science major. D.C. seemed like the right move,” he said. “Doesn’t hold much water anywhere else.”

Fortunately for him, he likes living in his adopted city.

“I love D.C. It’s a great mix of big city and personality,” he said. “There is a lot of diversity in the culture that is really fun to be in the middle of.”

Before joining McCaul’s team as a staff assistant in March, Granger interned in the office of Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) as part of the Texas Governor’s Fellowship Program.

As for McCaul, Granger said, “I agree with a lot of his policies. He’s part of the reason why I’m here.”

The 25-year-old Austin native isn’t sure what he wants to do in the long term, but he has a few ideas.

“I’d like to get familiar with the legislative process, then possibly, maybe, end up working for a lobbyist or something,” he said. “That’s a pretty loose plan.”

When it comes to his outside interests, Granger’s tastes change with the temperature.

“It’s pretty seasonal,” he said. Though skiing is his thing in the colder weather, Granger enjoys spending time in the summer fishing and playing golf.

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