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Conversations with Congressional Freshmen
by Caitlin Hillyard

C-SPAN is featuring interviews with several House freshman members, focusing on their lives before coming to serve on Capitol Hill and their thoughts on working in Washington.

Representative Ralph Abraham (R-LA) discusses his background as a physician, veterinarian, and pilot, priorities in his district, his impressions of House leadership, and the time he spent living out of his Capitol Hill office.

Representative Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) discusses his habit of entering the House chamber through the doors on the Democratic side, growing up with a liberal mother and conservative father, and the death of his first child at age 11.

Representative Brendan Boyle (D-PA) discusses his first impressions of how the U.S. Capitol operates, his upbringing as the son of an immigrant janitor, and his criticisms of the current campaign finance system.

Representative Brenda Lawrence (D-MI) discusses her career as a postal worker, her time as mayor of Southfield, Michigan, her experiences as a woman running for office, and her role representing Detroit following the city's financial crisis.

Watch previous interviews in this series:

Representative Elise Stefanik (R-NY) discusses her experiences as the youngest woman to ever be elected to Congress at age 30, her upbringing, and her work with Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) during the 2016 presidential election.

Representative Brad Ashford (D-NE) discusses his background and his experiences so far as a new member of Congress.

Representative John Ratcliffe (R-TX) talks about his role as a new member of Congress.

Representative Don Beyer (D-VA) talks about his role as a new member of Congress.

Representative Lee Zeldin (R-NY) discusses his deployment to Iraq in 2006 and his background in the New York State Senate.

Representative Mark Takai (D-HI) talks about his experiences as a member of the Hawaii National Guard and the unique qualities of the Hawaii congressional delegation. 

Representative Mike Bost (R-IL) discusses his time in the Illinois state legislature, his impressions of Washington, D.C., and his reasons for serving in the U.S. House.

Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) discusses her role as the first African-American woman to serve in the New Jersey delegation and her efforts on issues including gun control.

Representative Steve Russell (R-OK) discusses his work advocating for veterans, his career in the U.S. Army, his time in the Oklahoma State Senate, and his experiences owning a rifle manufacturer.

Representative Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), a former Harvard University student who dropped out to join the Marines, discusses his background as a child of immigrants and his first impressions of life in Washington, D.C.

Representative Norma Torres (D-CA) discusses her career as a former police dispatcher, her experiences as an immigrant, and her time in state office.

Representative William Hurd (R-TX) discusses his experiences as a former CIA agent and his motivations for seeking political office.

Representative Ryan Zinke (R-MT), discusses his background as a former Navy SEAL and PAC-10 football player, and his childhood being raised by his grandmother.