Fifty-two new Members of Congress were sworn into the House of Representatives Tuesday, opening day of the 115th United States Congress. Here are some of the key representatives to watch out for in the coming year:
Florida, 13th Congressional District – Charlie Crist (D)
The former Republican Governor and Senator for Florida, Charlie Crist defected to the Democratic Party in 2012, after he endorsed Barack Obama for the presidency. Standing as a Democrat, Crist ousted the incumbent Republican David Jolly by a margin of 52 percent to 48 percent in his House race. However, he has since said he supports some of Donald Trump’s trade policies, particularly that of charging 35 percent tariffs on companies who move their workforce overseas.
New York, 22nd Congressional District – Claudia Tenney (R)
Having served as chief of staff and legal counsel to her predecessor David Townsend, Tenney also represented the 101st Assembly District in the New York Assembly before running for office in 2014 in New York’s 22nd Congressional District, a race which she lost. However the respected attorney won her House race in November, having run an ‘anti-establishment’ campaign, in which she endorsed Donald Trump’s policies on both trade and immigration.
Wyoming’s only congressional seat – Liz Cheney (R)
The daughter of former vice-president Dick Cheney, one of Liz Cheney’s key achievements was her co-founding of ‘Keep America Safe,’ a neoconservative organization whose aim is to pressure politicians into maintaining America’s military expansion. She has previously served in the State Department, working as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, as well as running the Iran Syria Policy and Operations Group during the Bush administration. Cheney will inherit the seat formerly held by her father between 1979-1989.
North Carolina, 13th Congressional District, Ted Budd (R)
A former owner of a sports retail business who has never run for political office before, Budd has promised to “take on the establishment,” promoting fiscal responsibility and family values and protecting the second amendment. Sources close the Congressman have suggested to Breitbart News he is likely to lead on issues such as trade and immigration. Budd was elected to the House with 56 percent of the vote.
Maryland, 4th Congressional District, Anthony Brown (D)
The former lieutenant governor of Maryland, Brown lost the election for Governor in 2014 to Republican Larry Hogan, despite receiving campaign aid from President Barack Obama. A decorated Iraq war veteran, he has led the way on issues such as veteran affairs and domestic violence. He won his district in a landslide victory with 73.7 percent of the vote.
Minnesota, 2nd Congressional District, Jason Lewis (R)
A former radio talkshow host, Lewis’s only other political experience was running his failed campaign for congress in 1990. In his second run last year, he captured Minnesota’s highly competitive 2nd district. He is the author of a book entitled Power Divided is Power Checked: The Argument for States Rights.
Kansas, 1st Congressional District, Roger Marshall (R)
A committed member of the Republican establishment, Marshall surprised many after he defeated the incumbent congressman Tim Huelskamp on an anti-Tea Party platform. Formerly a physician, Marshall’s candidacy was endorsed by the United States Chamber of Commerce as well as the National Association of Wheat Growers, with Marshall attributing his victory to his positions on agriculture, which he deemed a swing issue in the district.
Florida, 18th Congressional District, Brian Mast (R)
Another decorated army veteran with over 12 years service, Brian Mast has been awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal and Defense Meritorious Service Medal. After being discharged from the army, he worked as an explosives specialist for the Department of Homeland Security. In his congressional race, he overturned a Democratic majority previously held by Patrick Murphy, who also lost to Marco Rubio in his Florida Senate race.
New Jersey, 5th Congressional District – Josh Gottheimer (D)
A former speechwriter for Bill Clinton, as well as an advisor to John Kerry and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaigns, Gottheimer overturned veteran conservative Scott Garrett’s majority in the typically conservative district of New Jersey. However he may be forced to compromise on some issues should he wish to hold on to his slim majority.
California, 17th Congressional District – Ro Khanna (D)
A close ally of Barack Obama, Khanna previously served as the president’s Deputy Assistant Secretary in the United States Department of Commerce. Having lost his 2014 congressional race against the eight term incumbent Mike Honda, he went on to thrash him by 22 percent in November’s election.
Virginia, 2nd Congressional District – Scott Taylor (R)
A retired Navy SEAL and security consultant, Taylor won the Republican nomination for Virginia’s 2nd district after a fierce campaign against Congressman Randy Forbes. Forbes, who had been in Congress since 2001, decided to run in Virginia’s coastal 2nd District after redistricting made his own 4th District much more Democratic. Since 2014, Taylor has served as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates.