Former Teacher of the Year turned Dem rep says she looks forward to working with GOP

Rep.-elect Jahana HayesJahana HayesSupporters leave notes on plaque outside Ocasio-Cortez's office Chamber of Commerce says will focus on bipartisanship when endorsing candidates 116th Congress breaks records for women, minority lawmakers MORE (D-Conn.) said in an interview that aired Monday on "Rising" that she looks forward to collaborating with Republicans in Congress, citing agriculture as a specific issue where she could work with GOP members. 

"I've made it my business to reach out to other members," Hayes told Hill.TV's Jamal Simmons late last month.

"Collaboration is a gift for me. I...by default come from a profession where we just have to work with people where they are," she continued. 

"I'm very interested in, believe it or not, agriculture because we have lots of small farms in Connecticut where people feel like they're not represented. I know those are programs that also affect our urban centers where we have our SNAP program, and the school lunch and nutrition programs," she said. 

"That really is a bridge," she continued. "A lot of my Republican colleagues, who come from farming communities in the heartland can understand what I'm talking about when I have those conversations. So I'm open to collaboration." 

Hayes, who former President Obama named 'Teacher of the Year,' was elected to represent Connecticut's 5th Congressional District in November. 

She will be the first black congresswoman to represent Connecticut in history.  

— Julia Manchester