By By Kate Oczypok - 02/03/09 04:17 PM EST
Brian Crawford began his position as chief of staff for Rep. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.) in December 2008 after working as the D.C. chief of staff for former Rep. Ric Keller (R-Fla.). He worked as a lobbyist for eight years before moving to Capitol Hill.
“I miss the team I put together,” said Crawford, who helped shut down Keller’s office a few days after Thanksgiving. “We are all scattered now — one’s in law school, another manages a restaurant now, and one more is here with me.”
Crawford called Keller a “great member of Congress, and a really funny man.”
“It’s been a great adjustment from one great member to another,” Crawford said. “Congressman Rooney is young and aggressive and we really built up a great relationship after we hit the ground running after the swearing-in.”
Crawford enjoys a 70-gallon saltwater tank in Rooney’s office. The tank was previously owned by Reps. Mark Foley (R) and Tim Mahoney (D) and now sits in Rooney’s office. “There’s no orange juice yet,” Crawford joked, referring to Florida’s famous oranges.
If he weren’t working on Capitol Hill, Crawford would love to be a scout or a general manager for a prosports team. Rooney’s family owns the Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers.
“The amount of football talk is great,” Crawford said.
• Rep. Trent Franks’s (R-Ariz.) twins, Joshua Lane and Emily Grace, pictured at right, are celebrating turning 6 months old on Wednesday.
• Rep. Patrick Tiberi’s (R-Ohio) wife gave birth to triplet girls on Jan. 18. They join their 5-year-old sister, Angelina. Tiberi’s wife’s doctor suggested he get a male dog to accompany him amid all of the women in his life.
Fritz Chaleff, communications director for Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.), is celebrating his three-month wedding anniversary this month with wife Molly. Chaleff’s engagement was made possible partly by Rep. Tom Latham (R-Iowa), for whom Chaleff used to work and who staged a fake tour of the Capitol to get Molly to
“He got us out onto the Speaker’s Balcony, where I surprised her with an engagement ring,” Chaleff said. “As you know, the view from the balcony is one of the best in Washington, and from it we could see the National Museum of the American Indian, where Molly and I met.”
Latham actually took the first picture of the two as an engaged couple. Chaleff was speaking with Bilbray about his first Valentine’s Day being married to Molly and the congressman offered up some advice, reminding Chaleff always to remember to find little ways to tell her that she is loved.
Molly and Chaleff were married at St. Clement’s Church in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., which is Molly’s hometown.
• Rep. Sanford Bishop Jr. (D-Ga.) — Feb. 4, 1947 — age 62
• Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-Mich.) — Feb. 6, 1934 — age 75
• Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) — Feb. 7, 1941 — age 68
• Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) — Feb. 7, 1935 — age 74
• Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) — Feb. 9, 1951 — age 58
• Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) — Feb. 9, 1946 — age 63
• Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) — Feb. 10, 1943 — age 66
• Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.) — Feb. 11, 1964 — age 45
• Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) — Feb. 11, 1964 — age 45
• Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) — Feb. 11, 1962 — age 47
Mary Vought began her first day on Monday as the new press secretary for the House Republican Conference. Previously, she served as director of communications for Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) and Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.).