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Huffman Prepares for Congressional Boot Camp

There is a lot to learn in a short period of time for Lynn Woolsey's replacement on Capitol Hill.

Jared Huffman is celebrating his election to the U.S. Congress by tying one on: He's going flyfishing on the Trinity River.

"I'm going to sneak in a day of steelhead fishing before my life disappears," he said Wednesday.

Huffman, a 48-year-old Democrat from San Rafael, was the voters' choice to replace the retired Lynn Woolsey as Marin's agent in the United States House of Representatives. He easily defeated Dan Roberts, a Republican from Tiburon, to earn the 2nd Congressional District seat after being termed out as a state assemblyman.

What happens next for Huffman? Before his first day on the job during the first week of January, he's heading to Congressional boot camp — three weeks of it, starting Nov. 13. He will get swept away for orientation sessions that alternate weeks as the House heads toward a holiday recess. In addition, there is a National Democratic Caucus organization session at which there will be new leaders elected. Soon after, Huffman might learn about his committee assignments; he already has sent a letter of interest to Nancy Pelosi, he said.

"Things are going to happen very quickly," Huffman said.

Among the things that won't change are his focus on particular issues, he said. High on his priority lists are clean energy solutions, environmental issues and protecting Medicare and Social Security.

"But we're going to have a hugely consequential decision waiting for us in that first week of January about our fiscal cliff situation," he said. "I will work for a balanced approach to the debt, and I'd like to start with that bloated military budget. I think we should include investments in education and our infrastructure to get our economy going."

Huffman said he received a concessional call from Roberts late Tuesday night.

"He was a gentleman," Huffman said. "He offered congratulations and offered to work with me on veterans issues, which I really appreciated. As a Vietnam veteran, he is interested in keeping the faith with those who have served our country."

Huffman said he's not sure how he'll handle his family situation as he starts work in Washington, D.C. He and his wife, Susan, have a 12-year-old daughter, Abby, and a 9-year-old son, Nate.

"I think it makes sense, until we know more, that I'm not going to make any major changes in the first six months," he said. "We'll take that time to figure out the long-term. I'm thinking I'll get some spartan studio apartment and fly back and forth aggressively."

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Kevin Moore November 08, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Dear Congressman Huffman, Congratulations! Looking back... I attended two of your public forums on where to cut the State Budget, one in Terra Linda and one in Novato. The Terra Linda audience voted to keep every program and add every tax. Even your mind was blown. At the Novato meeting, everyone seemed more attached to planet earth or didn't have a massive pension funding them. Attending both meetings was time well spent. Information and the difference in opinion. Looking forward... Please have many TOWN MEETINGS, even if you have to use teleconferencing. Please set up opinion polls on your Congressional website. What is most important. Comment section. (Oh you know the nuts will show up.) Truly represent the people of your district and you won't have to worry about raising millions of dollars to get re-elected. Please be the change we are looking for. "WE THE PEOPLE" Not them, the lobbyists or special interests. Thank you, Kevin Moore
Steven Norwin November 09, 2012 at 05:23 AM
I didn't know there was a boot camp for "How to swindle the tax payer and pay off the lobbyists and special interests."

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