Congressman-elect Mick Mulvaney hasn't had much free time to relish his victory over 14-term incumbent John Spratt.
From hiring a staff to picking an office on Capitol Hill, the Indian Land Republican has stayed busy preparing for the start of the new session of Congress.
Mulvaney will be sworn in Jan 5. He must vacate his state Senate seat as part of the transition.
The day after the clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives certifies the Fifth District election, Mulvaney will send his letter of resignation, spokesman Bryan Partridge said.
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A primary will be held on the 11th Tuesday after Mulvaney vacates the Senate seat. The election will be on the 18th Tuesday after the vacancy, according to the state Election Commission.
In a Q&A last week with The Herald, Mulvaney said he hopes to serve on the Budget Committee, now chaired by Spratt.
He named businessman Al Simpson his chief of staff.
How did the Capitol Hill office lottery work out for you?
The office lottery went well, and we wound up with a great office in 1004 Longworth Building (formerly occupied by Rep. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., who got a new office).
I was looking for an office that visitors could easily find and that provided our staff with enough room to work comfortably. We accomplished both of those goals.
A recent survey showed that 15 percent of new House members plan to sleep in their offices. Do you fall into this category?
With the high cost of rent on Capitol Hill, I don't blame them. Since I plan to commute from home to Washington each week, I won't need much more than a place to sleep.
The last four years, I stayed in an affordable hotel when in Columbia. Right now, that looks like the best plan.
Would you give us an update on your staff so far? Any decision on a chief of staff?
One of my main goals is to provide the best constituent service possible. With that in mind, I have hired one of the best small businessmen I know, Al Simpson, to manage the day-to-day office operations as my chief of staff.
(Simpson is vice president and general manager of SDL Atlas in Rock Hill, a supplier of textile testing equipment. The Lancaster native served on the S.C. Board of Education from 2006 to 2009 and helped Mulvaney during the campaign).
We will also bring at least one member of Mr. Spratt's constituent service team on board in the District.
What are your hopes for committee assignments and when do you find out?
As I said during the campaign, I am very interested in serving on the Budget Committee. Not only is that committee extremely important, but it will be given some very difficult tasks next year. First, we need to actually write a budget.
Second, the committee must make both short-term and long-term recommendations on how to rein in the big spending. I am excited about the possibility of attacking each of those huge challenges head-on.
Which locations are you considering for district offices?
Though we can't open any offices until I'm sworn in on Jan. 5, we are looking at several locations. The first office we open will be in Rock Hill. But my staff will spend a significant amount of their time out in the district helping people - not just sitting behind a desk.
You attended Georgetown University. Has this made it easier to find your way around town, and do you plan to check out any Hoyas games?
Being a little familiar with the city certainly helps. I still prefer the subway over cabs and cars. But the truth of the matter is that the only parts of the city that I will likely see much of are my office, committee meeting rooms, the airport and the Capitol itself.
As for the Hoyas, I saw that President Obama is a big fan. Maybe he will invite me to a game next year ... but I won't be holding my breath.
Lastly, what has been the biggest surprise since you got to Washington as Congressman-elect?
I was only in Washington for a week to complete the mandatory orientation meetings, but I was pleasantly surprised by the freshman class. With such a busy schedule during the campaign, I really wasn't able to keep up with any of the other congressional races.
However, our freshman class is very diverse and principled. I am extremely excited about what we can do as we work together next year.