Finding love on Capitol Hill

Adora & Nate

Adora Andy, press secretary for the Environmental Protection Agency, met Nate Jenkins, southern political director for the Democratic National Committee in Florida. The two were campaigning for then-Sen. Barack Obama and Jenkins was instantly attracted to Andy’s outgoing nature.

“We did these icebreaker things for the campaign office and Adora said her favorite movie was ‘The Godfather,’” Jenkins said. “I remember thinking, wow, I’ve never met a girl who liked that kind of movie before.”

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The two worked in Florida to help elect Obama as president. Andy remembers Jenkins didn’t talk to her much at first. She smiles at Jenkins, laughing at how shy he was.

“I didn’t think you liked me!” she laughs.

Jenkins puts his arm on the back of Andy’s chair, admitting how nervous he was around her. “She was this gorgeous girl, so intelligent and outgoing,” he said. “I was nervous because I really liked her.”

The two went on their first date together, a group date, and soon after they began dating. They were inseparable, instant-messaging each other while they worked and even after Obama was elected. They knew what they had wasn’t just a campaign fling.

Andy was the first to move to D.C. because she wished to see Obama through a successful presidency.

When the two aren’t working, they enjoy an active lifestyle, taking walks on the National Mall and sightseeing at all of D.C.’s museums (“We love them!” they both said enthusiastically). They also have done a lot of extensive traveling, including a recent trip to Egypt and a surprise trip to Antigua.

Both agree D.C. is a great place to be in love, especially in the springtime.

The two also have plenty of quirks that make their relationship work. For instance, if one chooses a movie and it’s bad, the other gets to pick the next time. They also have no-BlackBerry meals, where they leave their BlackBerrys aside for some quality conversation. There are also the little things that sometimes stress each other out. Jenkins watches Fox News to see what the Republican Party is reporting on, he said.

“If I’m around and he’s watching, sometimes I say, ‘This is stressing me out!’” Andy said. “Then I have to leave the room.”

Both seem very much in love and play off of each other well. “I feel that God has brought us together,” Jenkins said.

“It’s important to not force things,” Andy added. “It’s the best when things just fall together naturally.”


Michelle & Austin

Michelle Hawks and Austin Reinshuttle’s story is about as natural as they come. The two met at a GOP retreat at the Greenbrier in West Virginia.

Reinshuttle, a special agent for the Capitol Police, was working security at the event when Hawks, who then worked for Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), recognized Reinshuttle from working around the Capitol.

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“We sat down and had tea and crumpets together at the resort,” Hawks said. “We waited a few months before officially going out, but my boss always used to joke, ‘Wow, you really like this guy,’ since I texted him constantly.”

Reinshuttle and Hawks fell into the political sphere both by accident — Reinshuttle through applying to different police agencies after a stint as a kindergarten teacher and Hawks through encouragement by coworkers to apply for a job with Blunt. She now works as a scheduler for Rep. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.).

“It was so funny because I didn’t even really like politics that much,” Hawks said. “Now I’ve been out here for quite a while.”

When asked about how Reinshuttle proposed, he shyly let Hawks answer the question. Launching into quite the D.C.-themed real-life fairytale, Hawks talked about how she had asked him to go see an Andrew Lloyd Webber show at the Kennedy Center and when they were halfway there, Reinshuttle got a phone call from his police sergeant asking him to get to the Capitol as soon as possible to get his Inauguration credentials.

“He was pretty believable,” Hawks said. “We got to the Capitol and he started angrily walking towards the security office.”

All of the sudden, Reinshuttle stopped short inside the Capitol Rotunda, nearly knocking Hawks over.

“He said, ‘I love you,’” Hawks said. “I said, ‘OK, I love you too, now let’s go.” It was then that Reinshuttle got down on one knee, in the middle of the Capitol Rotunda (for those who are unaware, it is the center of Washington) and told Hawks he loved her and wanted to spend the rest of his life with her.

The two are planning a destination wedding in Naples, Fla.


Kathy  & Kurt


Kathy and Kurt Nuebel are perhaps the ultimate Capitol Hill romance success story. The two met in Sen. Chuck Grassley’s (R-Iowa) office 11 years ago when Kurt trained Kathy as a legislative assistant. Now the two work side by side in cubicles in the Hart Senate Office Building.

They began dating secretly about six months to one year after their first meeting. However, the senator quickly uncovered the two. Kurt was on his way to his best friend’s wedding back home in Iowa and chose to bring Kathy, who is also from Iowa, along. While the two were waiting in the airport, they ran into Sen. Grassley.

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“He asked what we were doing and when we tried to explain, it clicked,” Kurt said.

Kathy added that the senator was on the phone to his press secretary almost immediately after. You see, according to Sen. Grassley, his wife Barbara and he are partly responsible for Kurt and Kathy’s nuptials.

“They met because of my office and I am proud to be a part of it,” he said. Grassley’s wife Barbara — who is quite observant, he says — noticed Kurt and Kathy had been dating for a while. Barbara took Kathy aside and said that Kurt had better marry her or else she should dump him.

“We have an old saying in Iowa: Fish or cut the bait,” Grassley said. “I guess he finally decided to fish.”

Grassley added that he believes Kurt and Kathy are a wonderful couple.

The two married in Iowa and only had one minor mishap: the cake. Looking at each other and laughing, the couple explained that they do not like cake so they chose cheesecake for their reception. “We had this really odd fake cake in the shape of the Capitol Dome on top, to signify where we met,” Kathy said.

The Nuebels now have a one-year-old, Ainsley. Ainsley almost was given another name, due to the senator’s lobbying for months. “She was almost Charlie,” Kathy said, laughing.

The two agreed that the senator is an honorary grandfather to Ainsley. “You know, one that doesn’t baby-sit or change diapers,” Kurt joked.

The Nuebels both agreed that D.C. can be hard to find love sometimes because of the amount of work people do on a daily basis.

However, after Ainsley was born, the two realized there is life beyond the Hart building. “Your priorities change,” Kathy said.