By The Hill Staff - 07/25/12 09:00 AM EDT
Hometown: Bakersfield, Calif.
Political party: Republican
Relationships status: Boyfriend, Brian
Washington, D.C., is a very different place from California, as Amanda Muñoz knows all too well.
The press assistant from Bakersfield learned early on that words often mean different things to different people.
Back in 2009, she found herself interning at the Homeland Security Department. The end of the workweek was approaching, and she was told to dress down for casual Friday.
“Sundress and sandals,” she answered. “You said it was casual Friday. This is casual for California.”
It was her Reese Witherspoon moment. Her co-workers had a good laugh at her expense, and from then on she was known simply as “California.”
Not to be put off by Washington’s buttoned-down culture, Muñoz returned last year to intern for her congressman, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), and eventually landed her current job with Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.).
Muñoz is a serious woman, but doesn’t take herself too seriously. She’s bright and cheerful and likes to sing — in public. Occasionally, you just might find her at Hill Country Barbecue in Penn Quarter belting out karaoke.
“I don’t think I’m good, but I definitely get up there and sing,” she says.
But most nights she prefers to just go home, relax and read.
“I’m like a 97-year-old woman — that’s actually the truth,” Muñoz says.
Her favorite book? To Kill a Mockingbird, which she first read in eighth grade and still reads every year.
“I love Scout. I love the story. I learn something new every time I read it,” she gushes.
— Emmanuel Touhey