Inside the Office of Rep. Reid Ribble (R-Wis.): Christy Paavola

Christy Paavola

Title: Senior legislative aide

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Age: 28

Hometown: Cedar Grove, Wis.

Education: B.A. in secondary education and broad field social studies from Concordia University, Wis.

Last job: Senior economic and budget policy analyst at the Republican National Committee

Legislative specialty: Budget, healthcare, defense, foreign policy

Favorite bill or law: The House-passed budget. It showed the country that House Republicans are willing to take on difficult issues for the betterment of the country.

If you could create a new committee or subcommittee, what would it be? I think there should be subcommittees in the House Budget Committee, especially for entitlements and defense.

Most embarrassing moment on Capitol Hill:  I met Speaker Boehner and I was so nervous I could barely get my words out. I felt like an idiot! He was really nice, though.

Interests outside of work: Running, cooking and cheering for the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers

Going into college, Christy Paavola thought she wanted to be a high school history teacher.

“But then [I] realized that I liked education policy more than writing lesson plans,” said Paavola, a senior legislative aide for Rep. Reid Ribble (R-Wis.).

So she decided to learn politics and policy from the dean of her home state’s congressional delegation, Rep. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.). After spending a couple of month’s interning in his district office, she moved to Sensenbrenner’s Washington office.

“I said to myself, ‘I’ll be back 

in Wisconsin in a year if I don’t like it,’ ” she said. 

That was five years ago.

“And I’m still here,” she said with a smile. 

“It’s politics — it’s addicting,” Paavola explained. “I’ve met a lot of great people, have had a lot of great bosses, including my current one … This is the place to be.”

Paavola has since worked for two nonprofit organizations in town and also for the Republican National Committee. While at the RNC, she helped organize a phone bank for the Wisconsin GOP candidates during the 2010 election cycle. When she and her friends made calls for Ribble, he was in town, and he spent some time thanking the volunteers.

“I liked what he had to say,” she said, adding that she and her friends kept talking about “how he seemed like a genuine guy — not just a politician — like someone who actually cares about people.”

And that’s how she found her new boss.

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