Rising Dem star in Connecticut says people like me ‘deserve a seat at the table’ in Congress

Democratic House candidate Jahana Hayes called for more diversity in Congress on Friday, saying she represents a group that should be represented at the table.

"Government is supposed to be taking care of people, and if you don't understand the concerns of people, if you are so far removed from the challenges that your constituents and members of your community are facing, then how can you accurately represent me?" Hayes, a former National Teacher of the Year, told Hill.TV's Buck Sexton and Krystal Ball on "Rising." 

"I don't think Congress should be all freshman members, I don't think it should be all teachers, but I think it should be a variety of all of the people that make up our community, and people like me happen to be people that make up our community, and we deserve a seat at the table," she continued. 

Ball's PAC, the People's House Project, has endorsed Hayes' campaign. 

Former President Obama awarded Hayes the National Teacher of the Year award in 2016. 

Hayes, a first-time candidate, won the Democratic Primary in August to replace Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.) in the state's fifth congressional district in August. 

She will face former Meriden, Conn., Mayor Mary Santos (R) in November. 

Hayes will become the first African-American Democrat from Connecticut to serve in Congress if she wins the general election race. 

She has received notable endorsements from Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisCelebrities, lawmakers wear black to support Kavanaugh’s accuser Dems fight to protect Mueller amid Rosenstein rumors Kamala Harris calls for Senate to protect Mueller probe as Rosenstein faces potential dismissal MORE (D-Calif.), the Congressional Black Caucus PAC and the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Her interview was part of Hill.TV's "Contenders" series ahead of November's midterm elections. 

— Julia Manchester