Connecticut history will be made tomorrow when Jahana Hayes is sworn in as the 5th Congressional District Congresswoman. News 8’s George Colli is live in the Nation’s Capitol where he spoke exclusively with her as she is moving into her office.
The former national teacher of the year is the first black woman elected to Congress from this state.
The former national teacher of the year out of Waterbury is one of 100 new House members that will be taking office. 66 of them are Democrats. A total of 42 are women.
Hayes’ ascension from high school teacher to member of Congress comes after 5th district congresswoman Elizabeth Esty decided not to run following her handling of a scandal involving her chief of staff.
Hayes defeated the Democratic Party endorser candidate in a primary before a decisive victory over her Republican opponent in the November elections.
Hayes has set her DC Staff, moved into her office and says she is already working hard down here. It was a busy day of meetings for her, and her voice has felt the brunt of it so far, but she is excited and is starting to realize the history that she is making.
“I know it and you think about it but it doesn’t really crystallizes. Last night when I drove into the city the dome was lit up and I know it but once again it hit me that fifty year from now someone will be teaching a history class and talk about the first African American female from Connecticut to be elected to Congress and my name will be there.”
When the new Congress gavels in, there will be a change of power in the House. Democrats will be in control.
That means new leadership roles for Connecticut’s other House representatives including 2nd District Congressman Joe Courtney, who is expected to be named chairman of the Armed Services Navy Sea Power subcommittee. A big deal for Groton and SE Connecticut.
“One of the great things about events like this is it’s the peaceful transition of power. From one group to another and I think as Americans that’s something we can’t ever overlook or underestimate. It’s really, whether an inauguration of the president or change bin control at the House or Senate, it’s something that distinguishes us as a civilized democracy.”
One of the first things they will be doing is voting to end this government shutdown. It’s is still unknown if this bill will lads the senate or if President Trump will sign it, but it will certainly be quite a day here at the Capitol.
News 8 will be there for all of the festivities on Thursday. The swearing in ceremony is at noon. Check out the full interviews with Congresswoman Elect Jahana Hayes and Congressman’s Joe Courtney.