State News

Ellmers in D.C. for House orientation

Posted November 16, 2010 11:57 a.m. EST
Updated November 16, 2010 7:17 p.m. EST

— Renee Ellmers is joining newly elected lawmakers at Capitol Hill this week for orientation, even though a recount looms in North Carolina’s Second Congressional District race.

The events, put together by the Committee on House Administration, include sessions on setting up a congressional office, ethics and code of conduct and legal issues related to service in Congress.

“It has been packed with information, and it's so exciting,” Ellmers said Tuesday. “We are meeting so many new people – all of my new freshman class and all of my leadership. Everyone is excited about going to work and learning the process.”

Ellmers, a career nurse endorsed by former U.S. vice presidential candidate and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, is among a majority Republican freshman class trying to get their footing and the lay of the capital landscape.

She says she and her fellow newly elected House members are not in D.C. this week to just listen and learn.

“Everybody is on the same page,” Ellmers said. “Everybody knows that the American people have elected this freshman class to go to Washington and change what's going wrong there.”

The congressional hopeful still faces a recount with seven-term Democratic Rep. Bob Etheridge. She beat him in this month’s general election by1,489 votes.

She says that so far, the recount has cost the campaign about $40,000 in legal fees and that it could eventually cost about $250,000, depending on what happens Nov. 23, when the race is certified.

Etheridge, meanwhile, released a statement Tuesday, saying he is already back at work for Congress’ lame-duck session, which started Monday.

"We still have business to take care of, and I'm going to be here working to take care of that business for the people I represent until this Congress adjourns."