To give you a taste of what the House's freshman class will be like, we've tried to distill each new member into one sentence (in a few rare cases, two). Sometimes we focus on their platform, sometimes their biography and sometimes other random factoids about their personality. A few will be entering Congress with the distinction of being the "first" something. In many cases, the most interesting thing we know about a soon-to-be representative is whom they'll be replacing. Eighteen of the freshmen represent a change in party for their district. And some of them remain unknowns. We still don't know who won the House race for Gabrielle Giffords old seat in Arizona, and a few races in Louisiana will be decided in a runoff soon.
There are a lot of sentences below, so brace yourself. After a while, though, the random congressional debris starts to earn the lilt of found poetry. Which will have to suffice until we debut the Fix poetry vertical.
Click the links to learn more about each new and shiny representative, from the news organization that lent us each quote. The members are listed alphabetically by state. Let's meet them!
Gary Palmer (R-Ala.): "Palmer said his campaign was birthed with prayer, and directed by prayer. 'Tonight, it was won by prayer,' he said."
Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.): "The son of Latino immigrants, Gallego worked his way through college and eventually graduated from Harvard University. While still a student, he enlisted as a Marine reservist and in 2006 was deployed to Iraq, where he fought in more than 10 combat operations."
French Hill (R-Ark.): "Hill is the chief executive officer of Delta Trust and Bank. He'd campaigned on limiting federal government spending and giving state and local government more control over the way they spend that money."
Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.): "Rep.-Elect Bruce Westerman, R-Hot Springs, hopes to land a spot on the House Energy and Commerce Committee to fight against recently proposed air and water regulations that he says would harm Arkansas’s economy."
Mark DeSaulnier (D-Calif.): "In one of the nation's bluest congressional districts, state lawmaker Mark DeSaulnier coasted to victory over Republican Tue Phan-Quang after winning a six-candidate scrum in the June blanket primary."
Steve Knight (R-Calif.): "Knight is now set to take over for the retiring [Howard P. "Buck"] McKeon, who has served as the local representative in Congress since 1992."
Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.): "Aguilar replaces Rep. Gary Miller, R-Rancho Cucamonga, who announced in February that he would not seek re-election."
Ted Lieu (D-Calif.): "State Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) has beat gang prosecutor Elan S. Carr, a Beverly Hills Republican, in the race to succeed Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Beverly Hills), who is retiring after 40 years in Congress."
Norma Torres (D-Calif.): "Another historic first is the election of Norma Torres, a California state legislator who becomes the first member of Congress to be born in Central America."
Mimi Walters (R-Calif.): "Walters, 52, will serve as the representative of the 2014 freshman class to the House Republican leadership."
Ken Buck (R-Colo.): "Congressman-elect Ken Buck was elected freshman class president today."
Gwen Graham (D-Fla.): "Democrat Gwen Graham unseated two-term Republican Rep. Steve Southerland on Tuesday, becoming the first woman ever and the first Tallahasseean in modern history to win the 2nd Congressional District seat."
Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.): "Carlos Curbelo flipped a South Florida congressional seat for the Republican Party on Tuesday, besting Miami Rep. Joe Garcia in a midterm election dominated by the GOP."
Buddy Carter (R-Ga.): "Carter will replace Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), who has held the seat for 22 years, ran a failed bid for the U.S. Senate earlier this year."
Jody Hice (R-Ga.): "Hice has suggested doctors receive tax credits for providing indigent care as an alternative to the federal health-care law, as well as abolishing the Internal Revenue Service."
Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.): "Loudermilk, a tea partier, ran unopposed in the midterm election."
Rick Allen (R-Ga.): "[John] Barrow, the last of the white Democrats from the Deep South in the House, had held the seat since 2004, despite the district twice being redrawn to favor GOP candidates."
Mark Takai (D-Ha.): "Democratic state Rep. Mark Takai has won the race to replace outgoing U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa and keep Hawaii's 1st Congressional District seat under Democrats' control."
Bob Dold (R-Ill.): "Bob Dold (R) has reclaimed the seat he narrowly lost to Brad Schneider (D) in 2012."
Mike Bost (R-Ill.): "He became a bit of a political celebrity when he lost his temper on the floor of the Illinois legislature, throwing a pile of papers into the air and punching them as they descended."
Rod Blum (R-Iowa): "Blum, 59, a Dubuque native, will succeed U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Waterloo, who vacated his seat to run for U.S. Senate."
David Young (R-Iowa): "His race with Democrat Staci Appel had been viewed by national political analysts as a toss-up, but he ultimately won by more than 10 percentage points, 52.8 percent to 42.2 percent."
Bruce Poliquin (R-Maine): "He became the first Republican in 20 years to win the seat in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District."
Seth Moulton (D-Mass.): "Moulton appealed to voters as a newcomer with an impressive resume, having served four tours of Iraq and graduated from Harvard College, Harvard Business School, and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government."
John Moolenaar (R-Mich.): "Moolenaar, the 36th District state senator, will replace longtime U.S. Rep. Dave Camp, R-Midland, who announced in March that he would vacate the spot he has held for 23 years."
Mike Bishop (R-Mich.): "Bishop was favored to win the seat vacated by U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, partly because the district has historically leaned Republican."
David Trott (R-Mich.): "The lawyer and businessman from Commerce Township will replace U.S. Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-Milford), whom he defeated in the August primary."
Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.): "Today she is Representative-elect Dingell, making her own history as the first woman to succeed a living spouse in Congress."
Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.): "Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence won the 14th Congressional District seat being vacated by Congressman Gary Peters, who is headed to the U.S. Senate."
Tom Emmer (R-Minn.): "Republican Tom Emmer, who failed in his bid to be Minnesota’s governor four years ago, won the seat being vacated by Rep. Michele Bachmann in the conservative Sixth Congressional District, ushering in an era that Emmer vows will be marked with civility and service to constituents."
Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.): "Zinke’s victory keeps the state’s lone House seat in Republican hands, as it has been since after the 1996 election."
Brad Ashford (D-Neb.): "Already pegged by political handicappers as one of 2016’s most vulnerable freshman members, Ashford will have to find his place in the 114th Congress as a rookie member of the minority party, in a Democratic caucus dominated by colleagues from safe, left-leaning districts."
Cresent Hardy (R-Nev.): "With a win that was unthinkable a month ago, Republican Assemblyman Cresent Hardy ousted Democratic Rep. Steven Horsford to represent North Las Vegas and central Nevada in the U.S. House of Representatives."
Frank Guinta (R-N.H.): "Guinta was the lone republican victor in the top of the ticket state races."
Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.): "Republican Tom MacArthur won New Jersey's most expensive and possibly nastiest race for a House seat Tuesday, defeating Democrat Aimee Belgard in the 3rd Congressional District in Ocean and Burlington counties."
Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.): "She also will make history in New Jersey, which until last week had never elected a black woman to Congress."
Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.): The race was a rematch from four years ago, when Zeldin lost to [Democratic Rep. Tim] Bishop, whose last re-election was the longest-running congressional recount in the nation.
Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.): "Rice, who has earned a national reputation for cracking down on drunken driving cases and uncovered a college entrance exam cheating scandal that led to nationwide reforms, was first elected district attorney in 2005; she is in her third four-year term."
Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.): "Republican Elise Stefanik has become the youngest woman elected to Congress in history."
John Katko (R-N.Y.): "He received the highest percentage of the vote any candidate in this central New York congressional district has received in 10 years."
Mark Walker (R-N.C.): "Republican Mark Walker has been elected to represent North Carolina's 6th Congressional District, replacing retiring U.S. Rep. Howard Coble."
David Rouzer (R-N.C.): "Two years ago, David Rouzer lost the U.S. House District 7 seat by less than 700 votes."
Steve Russell (R-Okla.): "Russell’s unit in Iraq played a role in capturing that country’s former president, Saddam Hussein. He wrote a book about it called, 'We Got Him! A Memoir of the Hunt and Capture of Saddam Hussein.'"
Ryan Costello (R-Penn.): "Republican Ryan Costello defeated Democrat Dr. Manan Trivedi in the 6th Congressional District."
Brendan Boyle (D-Penn.): "He lost bids for the state House in 2004 and 2006."
John Ratcliffe (R-Tex.): "Rep. Ralph Hall (R-Tex.), the oldest-serving member of Congress and one of the last World War II veterans serving on Capitol Hill, became the first incumbent House lawmaker to lose a primary challenge this year by losing Tuesday night to a tea party-backed challenger."
Will Hurd (R-Tex.): "As far as we know, you have a chance to have a truly historic result because Will will be the first Republican of African-American descent from the state of Texas since Reconstruction to represent our state in the House of Representatives."
Brian Babin (R-Tex.): "Dr. Babin, a dentist, military veteran and lifelong conservative, spent the last several months crisscrossing the sprawling East Texas sprawling congressional district with a message of repealing President Obama's liberal agenda and restoring conservative principles to Washington."
Mia Love (R-Utah): "Ninety-one per cent of black American women who cast ballots in this year’s House elections voted Democratic, and ninety-six per cent voted for President Obama in the 2012 Presidential contest. That the G.O.P. could find a black woman to run was impressive enough; that she won is even more surprising."
Don Beyer (D-Va.): "Beyer, who won a seven-candidate Democratic primary in June, will succeed longtime Democratic Rep. Jim Moran, who is retiring."
Barbara Comstock (R-Va.): "Over the course of the campaign, Ms. Comstock came under fire for her work as an opposition researcher during the investigations into President Bill Clinton in the 1990s."
Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.): "The race was the first in state history pitting two Republicans against each other in a general election for a congressional seat."
Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.): "The state with the smallest share of Latinos in the nation has elected its first Latino congressional representative, Alex Mooney."
Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.): "Republican state Sen. Evan Jenkins has defeated longtime Democratic Rep. Nick Rahall in Southern West Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District, ending Rahall’s 38 years of congressional service."
Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.): "Grothman, no stranger to political takes that could be considered outlandish, beat Democrat Mark Harris by 16 percentage points earlier this month for the 6th Congressional District seat being vacated by Republican Tom Petri."