10 Freshmen to Keep an Eye On
Class of 2010 is full of characters
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2011 7:47 AM CST
Rep.-elect Allen West, R-Fla., a retired Army Lt. Col., walks through the Capitol Visitor's Center on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Nov. 15, 2010, as Congressional freshmen orientation began.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – There will be plenty of fresh faces in Washington today. But which ones matter most? The Washington Post selects 10 freshman legislators to keep an eye on:

  • Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-NH: One of Sarah Palin's "mama grizzlies," Ayotte defeated a Tea Partier to become the only woman elected to the Senate last year.
  • Sen. Marco Rubio, R -Fla.: The GOP needs some fresh faces and Latino outreach; Rubio has a chance to be its new rock star.
  • Rep. David Cicilline, D-RI: The former mayor of Providence—and the country's first openly gay mayor of a capital city—has a rep for cracking down on corruption. He succeeds Patrick Kennedy.

  • Rep. Michael Grimm, R-NY: Yep, a NYC Republican. Grimm is a former FBI agent who posed undercover on Wall Street. Nickname: Mikey Suits, for his fashion sense.
  • Rep. Allen West, R-Fla.: For those worried about the dearth of Florida wingnuts after Alan Grayson lost reelection, West is a Tea Party darling who's given to calling himself a "right-wing extremist," and the president "the dumbest person walking around right now."
  • Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga.: One of a wave of Southern GOPers who unseated Blue Dogs, Scott's fellow freshmen picked him as class president.
For the complete list, click here.