Inside the Office of Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah): Tanner Mitchell

Title: Legislative correspondent

Age: 27

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Hometown: Farmington, Utah

Education:  B.A. in American Studies and Political Science from Brigham Young University

Last job: Legislative staff assistant, Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s office

Favorite bill or law: H.R. 1536, the Space Shuttle Retirement Act of 2011, which would designate the final location of the remaining Space Shuttles to be: (1) the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida for Shuttle Atlantis, (2) the California Science Center in California for Shuttle Enterprise, (3) the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia for Shuttle Discovery and (4) the Johnson Space Center in Texas for Shuttle Endeavour.

Most embarrassing moment on Capitol Hill: When I was an intern, I was told to take a group of VIPs over to the Rayburn building, where Rep. Chaffetz was having a hearing. I got so lost, and the VIPs knew it. They ended up showing me where the room was and we all had a good laugh. 

Passion outside of work:  Soccer, sailing, running, biking and reading.

Tanner Mitchell spent time in Utah and Texas during his youth, but it was 10 years living on Canada’s Vancouver Island that really shaped his future.

 “You realize when you live outside the United States … how much you appreciate [it],” he said. “Growing up in Canada made me realize I’m definitely an American.

“I love what we stand for, I love our potential,” Mitchell said. “There’s a lot of problems, but there’s also a lot of opportunities, and Americans are great at solving problems and overcoming things.”

Now a legislative correspondent for Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), Mitchell has long-term plans to pursue business, particularly in the healthcare field. But he wanted to start his career in Washington.

“I wanted to see what government was like … It’s important to understand how D.C. works,” Mitchell said of his decision to move here in January and work in Congress.

As he studies for business-school entrance exams, Mitchell said he still believes in the American Dream and hopes to help solve the nation’s problems through more than just political channels.

“You can serve your country in a lot of ways,” he said. “Paying taxes and employing people and making a difference, I think, is one way to do it.”

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