Aides get settled in ‘Carpertown’ U.S.A.

Bryer Davis refers to her new office as “Carpertown.” That might be apt, since she works for Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) in a trailer temporarily located in the courtyard of the Russell Senate Office Building. The staff await the last remodeling touches on their office in Hart.

Carper aides plan to move back to the newly redone office this week. Even with new staff and an office move in the making, “Carpertown” does not feel like it’s in upheaval.

Davis, who started work as a staff assistant in March, appears right at home. The 23-year-old is a graduate of South Carolina’s College of Charleston with a degree in media communications. Hailing from Annapolis, which is still below the Mason-Dixon line, she has a warm Southern manner.

“I can’t say I was ever very involved in politics, but I needed a job and I really enjoy Carpertown,” she says.

As a new face on the Hill, she is surprised how many people who are not from Delaware call the senator’s office.

In the future, she hopes to work at the Charleston Food and Wine Festival, where she interned last year.

“But this is a great place to start,” she says.

Katinka Podmaniczky, 23, is another young aide who joined the office in June as assistant to the chief of staff. She arrives from Stones’ Phones, a high-profile campaign consulting firm where she worked as an executive assistant to the CEO.

Podmaniczky is a Hungarian name, from her father’s side of the family. But she’s from Wilmington, Del.
“It seems like a lot of us [staffers] are from Delaware,” she said.

She is enjoying managing the intern program of four this summer.

“I get to have my fingers in a lot,” she said. “It’s a good opportunity to see a little bit of everyone.”

The aide graduated from Bowdoin College in Maine and earned her bachelor’s degree, with honors, in government and legal
studies.

With more experience than the other new aides, Chuck Jones, 38, returns to the Hill after a 12-year hiatus. He worked in Sen. Mark Pryor’s (D-Ark.) office from 1991-’95 as a legislative assistant. He holds the same post in Carper’s office.

From his home in Reston, Va., he has a 45-minute commute, which he says is “shorter than Tom Carper’s.”  

Jones’s credentials include a master’s degree in world politics from Catholic University. Before coming back to the Hill, he worked with the Federal Housing Finance Board, the Department of State as White House liaison, and at the White House as deputy associate director in the Office of Presidential Personnel.

His new job for the senator consumes a great deal of his time. “I’m averaging six or seven meetings a day,” he says. But on the upside, he adds, “This is a family. You enjoy getting up in the morning and going to work.”

All of Carper’s aides report that they see the senator at least once a day. “He doesn’t have a hideaway,” says Jones. “At least, he doesn’t use it.”