Jared Huffman is celebrating his election to the U.S. Congress by tying one on: He's going flyfishing on the Trinity River.
"I'm going to sneak in a day of steelhead fishing before my life disappears," he said Wednesday.
Huffman, a 48-year-old Democrat from San Rafael, was the voters' choice to replace the retired Lynn Woolsey as Marin's agent in the United States House of Representatives. He easily defeated Dan Roberts, a Republican from Tiburon, to earn the 2nd Congressional District seat after being termed out as a state assemblyman.
What happens next for Huffman? Before his first day on the job during the first week of January, he's heading to Congressional boot camp — three weeks of it, starting Nov. 13. He will get swept away for orientation sessions that alternate weeks as the House heads toward a holiday recess. In addition, there is a National Democratic Caucus organization session at which there will be new leaders elected. Soon after, Huffman might learn about his committee assignments; he already has sent a letter of interest to Nancy Pelosi, he said.
"Things are going to happen very quickly," Huffman said.
Among the things that won't change are his focus on particular issues, he said. High on his priority lists are clean energy solutions, environmental issues and protecting Medicare and Social Security.
"But we're going to have a hugely consequential decision waiting for us in that first week of January about our fiscal cliff situation," he said. "I will work for a balanced approach to the debt, and I'd like to start with that bloated military budget. I think we should include investments in education and our infrastructure to get our economy going."
Huffman said he received a concessional call from Roberts late Tuesday night.
"He was a gentleman," Huffman said. "He offered congratulations and offered to work with me on veterans issues, which I really appreciated. As a Vietnam veteran, he is interested in keeping the faith with those who have served our country."
Huffman said he's not sure how he'll handle his family situation as he starts work in Washington, D.C. He and his wife, Susan, have a 12-year-old daughter, Abby, and a 9-year-old son, Nate.
"I think it makes sense, until we know more, that I'm not going to make any major changes in the first six months," he said. "We'll take that time to figure out the long-term. I'm thinking I'll get some spartan studio apartment and fly back and forth aggressively."