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Mr. Lankford goes to Washington for freshman orientation

New Oklahoma congressman says important information presented in ‘most boring format possible.'
BY CHRIS CASTEEL Published: November 21, 2010

— As Rep.-elect James Lankford looked at office space in the upper reaches of the least desirable House buildings on Friday, he tried to keep some perspective.

At the freshman orientation, there was a Republican involved in a contested election whose chances to serve in the next Congress had faded greatly while he was in Washington last week.

“Honestly, we're just grateful to be able to be here,” said Lankford, an Edmond Republican who won the 5th District seat being vacated by Rep. Mary Fallin.

Getting ready

Lankford won't be sworn in until Jan. 5, but he and more than 90 other freshmen spent the week trying to get ready to go to work.

There were briefings on House policies and procedures and ethics rules, class pictures and meetings with potential staff members.

“Most of orientation is extremely important information given in the most boring format possible,” Lankford said.

In a few weeks, Lankford may be saying the same thing about congressional hearings.

Diverse backgrounds

Lankford was a little more enthused about the rest of the new members.

“It's a great class, a lot of folks that are here from very diverse backgrounds, folks that have never been in politics, folks that have been in politics a long time,” he said. “So it's a lot of fun.”

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We have always joked and said, ‘We are freshmen coming into this class. We'll end up in a closet right behind the janitor's closet somewhere as our office space.' But we still have work to get done, so that's not a problem.”

James Lankford, 5th District congressman-elect


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