By Kris Kitto - 07/15/08 05:28 PM EDT
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito’s (R-W.Va.) new and recently promoted staffers might consider forming a Ryder Cup golf team. Like their boss, the three aides enjoy teeing off as often as possible.
Staunton Gorrell recently joined Capito’s office as a staff assistant, and Andrew Stasiowski and Miranda Kessel were recently promoted. Stasiowski moved up from intern to staff assistant; Kessel ascended from legislative correspondent to legislative assistant.
All three aides enjoy golf but acknowledge they have improvements to make to their game. “I’m a terrible putter,” says Gorrell, a 25-year-old graduate of James Madison University. He hasn’t yet started practicing his putting in the office, but “I should,” he says.
Kessell, 24, began playing golf after taking a side job at a golf course while a student at West Virginia University. Her game is “sub-par,” she jokes, but she enjoys the excuse to be outdoors.
As for Stasiowski, a 26-year-old graduate of the University of Nebraska, he received his first set of golf clubs from his grandfather when he was 4 years old. He played the sport in high school but is miffed that he hasn’t been able to dedicate as much time to it as an adult.
They do promise, however, to do some club-swinging in the near future during a proposed office golf outing.
Kessel has other commonalities with her boss. She was a Cherry Blossom princess this year, as was Capito. Every year during the city’s Cherry Blossom Festival, a bevy of young ladies represent their home states at the festivities.
Kessel says it was a great experience to have once in your life.
“A lot of the girls who were princesses work on the Hill, too, so we still keep in touch,” she says.
Like Capito, whose father was a GOP governor and congressman, Kessel comes from a strongly Republican family.
When another Capitol Hill publication (which shall remain nameless) misprinted Kessel’s first name as “Mirana,” Kessel says she joked to her friends, “I was such a good Republican that I took the ‘D’ out of my name.”
Stasiowski’s family is more bipartisan.
“My dad’s a Republican, and my mom’s an Obama-supporting Democrat,” he says. “It makes dinner conversations and everything else more fun.”
Stasiowski chose his father’s side of the aisle, however, and even worked on a campaign in his home state of Massachusetts on his father’s behalf. Stasiowski’s father is a lobbyist for beer distributors, and Stasiowski worked on a ballot-question campaign to keep wine from being sold in grocery stores. They won.
Gorrell and Stasiowski both hold great interest in economics and finance and hope to pursue those areas as their careers progress. Gorrell eventually would like to work at the U.S. Treasury, and Stasiowski is thinking about earning a joint master’s degree in economics and foreign policy.
But wherever they work, they’ll continue to hit golf balls.
“[Golf is] one of those things that you can never master but you can always get better at,” Gorrell says.