Newly elected members of the U.S. House converge on Washington

By: - November 12, 2020 5:39 pm

The U.S. Capitol building. (Photo by Matt H. Wade via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA)

WASHINGTON — They’ve won their campaigns. Now, newly elected members of the U.S. House of Representatives are spending their first days in the nation’s capital, learning how to perform their new jobs.

The orientation session for those incoming House freshmen began on Thursday and stretches into next week, covering their office budgets, how to hire staffers and the ethical guidelines lawmakers are expected to follow after being sworn in.

At least one member of that new class of legislators won’t be there in person: Republican Ashley Hinson, who defeated Democratic Rep. Abby Finkenauer in Iowa’s 1st Congressional District. Hinson announced Thursday that she tested positive for COVID-19 and will attend orientation remotely while she quarantines.

Hinson is among a record-setting number of incoming GOP women who will join Congress in January. With a handful of races yet to be called, there are at least 15 Republican women who were elected for the first time, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University. The previous record was set in 2010, when nine Republican women were elected to their first terms.

That tally could grow with the results of Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District, where the two candidates — both women — are separated by only 47 votes.

Candidates in close, unresolved races like Iowa’s 2nd District are invited to attend the freshman orientation session alongside newly elected legislators whose races have been finalized. Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks, who narrowly leads in that 2nd District race, is attending the D.C. sessions, her campaign staff said. Aides to Democrat Rita Hart did not respond to a request for comment.

A photo directory of the incoming House freshmen compiled by the House Committee on Administration, which runs the new-member orientation, shows 12 unresolved House contests. That includes Louisiana’s 5th District, in which Republicans Luke Letlow and Lance Harris will compete in a runoff election on Dec. 5.

Here is a list of freshman lawmakers from States Newsroom states. Districts in which the political party flipped are listed in italics.

3rd: Republican Lauren Boebert (defeated Republican incumbent Scott Tipton in the primary)

3rd: Republican Kat Cammack (succeeding retiring Republican Ted Yoho)
15th: Republican Scott Franklin (defeated Republican incumbent Ross Spano in the primary)
19th: Republican Byron Donalds (replacing retiring Republican Francis Ross)
26th: Republican Carlos Gimenez (defeated Democratic incumbent Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell)
27th: Republican Maria Elvira Salazar (defeated Democratic incumbent Rep. Donna Shalala)


5th: Democrat Nikema Williams (succeeding Democratic Rep. John Lewis, who died in July)
7th: Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux (won open seat held by Republican Rob Woodall)
9th: Republican Andrew Clyde (succeeding Republican Doug Collins, who ran for Senate)
14th: Republican Majorie Taylor Greene (succeeding Republican Tom Graves, who stepped down in October)

1st: Republican Ashley Hinson (defeated Democratic incumbent Abby Finkenauer)
4th: Republican Randy Feenstra (defeated Republican incumbent Steve King in the primary)

1st: Republican Tracey Mann (succeeding Republican Roger Marshall, who was elected to the Senate)
2nd: Republican Jake LaTurner (defeated Republican incumbent Steve Watkins in primary)

3rd: Republican Peter Meijer (won open seat previously held by Rep. Justin Amash, who quit the Republican Party and became a Libertarian)
10th: Republican Lisa McClain (won open seat previously held by retiring Republican Paul Mitchell)


7th: Republican Michelle Fischbach (defeated Democratic incumbent Collin Peterson)


1st: Democrat Cori Bush (defeated Democratic incumbent Lacy Clay in the primary)


2nd: Democrat Deborah Ross (won open seat previously held by Republican George Holding)

6th: Democrat Kathy Manning (won open seat previously held by Republican Mark Walker)
11th: Republican Madison Cawthorn (won open seat previously held by Republican Mark Meadows)


1st: Republican Diana Harshbarger (won open seat previously held by retiring Republican Phil Roe)


5th: Republican Robert Good (defeated Republican incumbent Denver Riggleman in primary nominating convention)


5th: Republican Scott Fitzgerald (won open seat previously held by retiring Republican Jim Sensenbrenner)


Iowa’s 2nd District: Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks narrowly leads Democrat Rita Hart in the open seat previously held by retiring Democrat David Loebsack.

Louisiana’s 5th District: Republicans Luke Letlow and Lance Harris will compete in a runoff election on Dec. 5 to replace retiring Republican incumbent Ralph Abraham.

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Laura Olson
Laura Olson

Laura covers the nation's capital as a senior reporter for States Newsroom, a network of nonprofit outlets that includes Iowa Capital Dispatch. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections, and campaign finance.