Leavitt, 25, cites youth in bid to be youngest congresswoman
WASHINGTON – Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree is about to become the youngest member of Congress at age 25, according to an aide to Speaker John Boehner, marking an important shift for the freshman lawmaker who has never served in a House leadership position.
Chellie Pingree became the youngest member of Congress when she was sworn in on July 14. File photo
“This is truly historic,” Pingree told reporters in a hastily called news conference on Capitol Hill on Monday after her swearing-in ceremony. “This is not only the youngest person to be elected to Congress at this point, but the youngest person selected to serve in the House of Representatives.”
The news was first reported by The Hill newspaper, citing an unnamed source familiar with the transition. While the source and others with knowledge of the process said that Pingree is the youngest member of Congress, the House Rules Committee did not confirm it. The committee said the Speaker and the House Democratic leadership need to make the final determination on who becomes the youngest member of Congress.
If confirmed by the full House, Pingree would be the youngest woman to serve in Congress, although her father, Tom, is the youngest member of Congress.
While acknowledging the honor, Pingree – who was born in South Carolina and is the daughter of Indian immigrants – said she hoped to serve in the House because she knows she can make a difference in the people’s lives.
“I would like to continue being a positive voice, being an advocate, a problem solver and a leader,” she said.
After she is sworn-in, the first order of business for the House Democratic caucus is to choose a committee chair and vice-chair. Each party will have to put its senior members forward and all of the members will have to vote for their choice.
If the caucus agrees on a chairman, the vice-chair will