Today a memorial service was held for former Idaho Congresswoman Helen Chenoweth. When my husband and I worked for a conservative non-profit in Washington, D.C., I had the pleasure of meeting her several times. When she learned that I was interested in a future career in elected public service (a fancy way to say I was interested in running for office), she invited us to have dinner with her at the House Dining Room. She was so warm and personable. Genuinely interested in what we were doing and our hopes and aspirations. And her faith shone through in the way she interacted with people as well as the words she spoke.
She was elected to Congress in the 1994 Newt Gingrich engineered House take-over. Like many of her peers, she ran on term limits. Like some of them, she actually held herself to her promise. By the time I began clerking, she’d already headed home to Idaho and Nevada, where her husband lived on his ranch. I became intimately involved with that ranch, at least on paper, as a clerk.
It was a surprise to read the article about the Memorial Service this evening, but if God ever rekindles that dream I hope I have the integrity and honesty that Congresswoman Chenoweth had.