2014 50 Most Beautiful

Mariel Saez
Mariel Saez
Hometown: 
Leonardtown, Md.
Age: 
26
Relationship Status: 
Boyfriend of three years
Party Affiliation: 
Democratic

Boating, eating oysters and playing with her family’s three white Bichon Frisé dogs are some of Mariel Saez’s fondest memories of growing up near the water in Maryland.

Her family is originally from Puerto Rico and goes back regularly to visit, especially around Christmas. But Saez hasn’t had time to join them for the past couple of years, due to her role as spokeswoman and Maryland press secretary for House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.).

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During down time, “House of Cards” is essential viewing for Saez; in the first season of the Netflix show, the main character plays a Democratic whip, just like her boss.

“They get some of it pretty spot-on. Other parts I’m just like, that’s not really how things work,” she said.

Hoyer, along with House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), advised Kevin Spacey last year for his role in the show.

“What character would I play?” Saez said, laughing. “I guess I would have to take one of those [online] quizzes.”

Saez interned in the press office for Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) before finishing her economics studies at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She worked in Hoyer’s personal office and became press assistant in 2010, before being promoted to her current position two years later.

To stay healthy, Saez spins, does yoga or walks around the Capitol a few times a week, and keeps her low-cal diet fresh with seafood and green salads.

“But I totally have a sweet tooth,” she admitted. “I love chocolate.”

Shopping at J. Crew, Saez aims for a classic look — and maybe a little nautical when she goes casual.

But it’s not all about looks. “I think the most important thing is have a smile on your face and try to stay positive,” she said.

When she’s not spending time with her two brothers, who live locally, or attending the occasional show at the National Theatre or Kennedy Center — she danced herself for 20 years — Saez can be found reading the latest New York Times title for her book club.

— Jesse Byrnes