WASHINGTON – Weighty decisions abounded on Capitol Hill this week, but the decisions for Arizona’s three incoming members of congress came down to picking official stationery and the drapes that will hang in their new offices.
House freshmen danced, prayed and even invoked the luck of the Irish as they drew tokens Friday in a lottery to determine the order of office selection in the Capitol complex.
Rep.-elect Kyrsten Sinema, D-Phoenix, refrained from spectacle and calmly drew No. 47 out of 70. She quickly shook off the relatively bad draw.
“The good news is everyone does get an office,” Sinema said. “I’m just hoping for something that’s left over, maybe in a little corner, tucked away.”
But not all suites are created equal – especially not the dregs that could be left for the lottery losers.
A list of available rooms in the Cannon and Longworth House office buildings showed options ranging from 831 to 1,105 square feet. Some were split suites, others had modular furniture, carpet or drapes.
Alongside that list were stacks of floor plans detailing the rooms’ proximity to the House floor, bathrooms or noisy hallways, among other idiosyncrasies.
Many representatives heeded House Office Buildings Superintendent William Weidemeyer, who opened the lottery with a winking recommendation for “superstitious gyrations and any kind of good-luck charms.”
Allison Jaslow, an aide to Rep.-elect Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., brought some delegates to their feet by drawing No. 10 after a cartwheel.
Rep.-elect Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., prefaced her pick with a nod to her hometown’s famous football team: “All the way from South Bend, Indiana … Go Irish! National champions!”
Walorski drew No. 6.
Some delegates drew top picks without any demonstration. Others took pains to bring about a little luck, to no avail.
Rep.-elect Juan Vargas, D-Calif., approached the box with gestures of prayer, but landed at No. 54.
“I didn’t pray hard enough,” he joked.
At least Vargas did better than Rep.-elect Steve Daines, R-Mont., who drew No. 70. The luckiest lawmaker on the day was Rep.-elect Julia Brownley, D-Calif., who pulled token No. 1.
Two floors down from the lottery, large meeting rooms awaited the freshmen with information about furnishing their new offices. Gold, green, blue and red drapes hung in one room, and stationery samples were stacked in the next.
But even among freshmen, seniority rules in Washington. Rep.-elect Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Flagstaff, was allowed to pick her office Thursday because she previously served one term, while Rep.-elect Matt Salmon, R-Gilbert, chose his office Wednesday because his previous three terms make him even more senior.
Sinema didn’t seem to mind.
“The idea of the office is not to have a ton of space or have the prettiest office or the best view — it’s to serve the people,” Sinema said. “As long as you’ve got some computers and chairs, you’re good.”
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets