Freshman Class Leaders

Freshman Class Presidents

Since at least the 1940s, first-term Representatives, commonly known as freshmen, have selected Members of their election class to represent their interests before party leadership. Each party cohort elects its own class president, who help develop and communicate policy goals and build relationships.

The term “class president” has been used since the 1980s, but freshman leaders have gone by a variety of titles over the years.1 Edith Green of Oregon, leader of the Democratic class of 1954, for instance, was known as the president of the “84th Club,” which took its name from the 84th Congress (1955–1957).2 At times, class leaders were also known as chairmen of the Freshman Caucus, or the New Member’s Caucus.3

The chart below includes known freshman leaders from the Democratic and Republican parties. Only Members who served as principal class leaders are listed; Members selected to serve in secondary freshman leadership positions, such as vice president or secretary, are not included. A freshman leader’s term can vary from six months to an entire two-year Congress.4 A freshman class can opt to elect a single president, or two co-presidents.5 Therefore, the number of freshman leaders who have served in each Congress can vary. Due to the relatively informal nature of the position, relevant documentation can be sparse, and information for some Congresses remains unknown.

Freshman Class
Election Year
CongressRepublicansDemocrats
194680th (1947–1949)Abe McGregor Goff (R-ID)Unknown
194881st (1949–1951)James Caleb Boggs (R-DE)6Unknown  
195082nd (1951–1953)William Henry Harrison (R-WY)
William Lee Springer (R-IL)
Unknown
195283rd (1953–1955)Laurence Curtis (R-MA)
Charles Raper Jonas (R-NC)
Robert Likens Condon (D-CA)
195484th (1955–1957) William Henry Avery (R-KS)Edith Starrett Green (D-OR)
195685th (1957–1959)Robert Henry Michel (R-IL)Frank Morey Coffin (D-ME)7
195886th (1959–1961)Ancher Nelsen (R-MN)Denver David Hargis (D-KS)
196087th (1961–1963)Robert Theodore Stafford (R-VT)Morris Blaine Peterson (D-UT)
196288th (1963–1965)Donald Glenn Brotzman (R-CO)
Robert Taft, Jr. (R-OH)
Unknown
196489th (1965–1967)UnknownLee Herbert Hamilton (D-IN)
196690th (1967–1969)William Owen Cowger (R-KY)Unknown
196891st (1969–1971)UnknownUnknown
197092nd (1971–1973)Jack French Kemp (R-NY)Leslie Aspin (D-WI)
Romano Louis Mazzoli (D-KY)
Mike McCormack (D-WA)
197293rd (1973–1975)John Bertrand Conlan (R-AZ)Edward Maurice Mezvinsky (D-IA)
197494th (1975–1977)UnknownJerome Anthony Ambro, Jr. (D-NY)
Carroll Hubbard, Jr. (D-KY)
Norman Y. Mineta (D-CA)
Richard Lawrence Ottinger (D-NY)
Edward Worthington Pattison (D-NY)
197695th (1977–1979)Robert Edward Badham (R-CA)
Newton Ivan Steers, Jr. (R-MD)
James Albon Mattox (D-TX)
Donald James Pease (D-OH)
Harold Lee Volkmer (D-MO)
197896th (1979–1981)Edwin Ruthvin Bethune, Jr. (R-AR)Kent Ronald Hance (D-TX)
Daniel Andrew Mica (D-FL)
198097th (1981–1983)George Hanks (Hank) Brown (R-CO)
Thomas Forbes Hartnett (R-SC)
Dennis Mark Hertel (D-MI)
Byron Leslie Dorgan (D-ND)
Royden Patrick Dyson (D-MD)
198298th (1983–1985)Thomas F. Lewis (R-FL)
John Sidney McCain, III (R-AZ)
Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
Richard Joseph Durbin (D-IL)
Bruce Andrew Morrison (D-CT)
198499th (1985–1987)Ben Garrido Blaz (R-GU)Albert G. Bustamante (D-TX)
1986100th (1987–1989)Donald Edgar Lukens (R-OH)Charles Thomas McMillen (D-MD)
Douglas Wayne Owens (D-UT)
1988101st (1989–1991)Craig T. James (R-FL)Eliot Lance Engel (D-NY)
William Sarpalius (D-TX)
1990102nd (1991–1993)William E. Barrett (R-NE)Thomas Hiram Andrews (D-ME)
Michael J. Kopetski (D-OR)
1992103rd (1993–1995)Howard P. (Buck) McKeon (R-CA)
Deborah D. Pryce (R-OH)
Eva M. Clayton (D-NC)
James Enos Clyburn (D-SC)
Eric D. Fingerhut (D-OH)
1994104th (1995–1997)George P. Radanovich (R-CA)
Roger F. Wicker (R-MS)
Lloyd Alton Doggett, II (D-TX)
Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX)
Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)
William Paul Luther (D-MN)
Karen McCarthy (D-MO)
Lynn Nancy Rivers (D-MI)
1996105th (1997–1999)Kenny Hulshof (R-MO)
Robert W. Schaffer (R-CO)
Jim Davis (D-FL)
Harold Ford, Jr. (D-TN)
Darlene Hooley (D-OR)
Robert A. Weygand (D-RI)
1998106th (1999–2001)James W. DeMint (R-SC)Brian Baird (D-WA)
Michael Everett Capuano (D-MA)
Joseph Crowley (D-NY)
David Wu (D-OR)
2000107th (2001–2003)Edward Schrock (R-VA)Brad Carson (D-OK)
William Lacy Clay, Jr. (D-MO)
Susan A. Davis (D-CA)
Richard Ray (Rick) Larsen (D-WA)
Adam Schiff (D-CA)
2002108th (2003–2005)Max Burns (R-GA)Frank W. Ballance, Jr. (D-NC)
Denise L. Majette (D-GA)
2004109th (2005–2007)Bobby Jindal (R-LA)Unknown
2006110th (2007–2009)William Sali (R-ID)Paul Hodes (D-NH)
Betty Sutton (D-OH)
Tim Walz (D-MN)
John Yarmuth (D-KY)
2008111th (2009–2011)Steve Austria (R-OH)Gerald E. (Gerry) Connolly (D-VA)
Martin Heinrich (D-NM)
2010112th (2011–2013)Austin Scott (R-GA)Terri Sewell (D-AL)
2012113th (2013–2015)Luke Messer (R-IN)Matt Cartwright (D-PA)
Joaquin Castro (D-TX)
John Delaney (D-MD)
Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM)
2014114th (2015–2017)Kenneth Robert Buck (R-CO)Ted Lieu (D-CA)
2016115th (2017–2019)John Bergman (R-MI)Nanette Barragán (D-CA)
Valdez Demings (D-FL)
Aston Donald McEachin (D-VA)
2018116th (2019–2021)Mark Green (R-TN)Colin Allred (D-TX)
Haley Stevens (D-MI)
2020117th (2021–2023)Stephanie I. Bice (R-OK)Nikema Williams (D-GA)
2022118th (2023–2025)Russell Fry (R-SC)Robert Garcia (D-CA)

Freshman Liaisons to House Leadership

In the 103rd Congress (1993–1995), the House Republican Conference created a new leadership position reserved for freshmen.8 The Democratic Caucus created a similar post after the 2016 election.9 In both parties, the position is colloquially referred to as the “freshman liaison” to the leadership—the Democratic Caucus’s rules refer to its freshman leader as the “Freshmen Leadership Representative,” while the Republican Conference rules do not specify an official title.10 In contrast to the more informal position of freshman class president, freshman liaisons hold formal positions in their party’s caucus or conference, which comes with greater access to House leadership. “We were able to communicate with the leadership about our class,” Republican Sue Myrick of North Carolina said of her position as freshman liaison in the 104th Congress (1995–1997). “It was just a good opportunity to have that voice at that table because it was totally different than the other voices that had been at the table before.”11 The following chart lists those Members who held a formal party leadership role as a freshman liaison.

CongressRepublicansDemocrats
103rd (1993–1995)Michael Dean Crapo (R-ID)N/A
104th (1995–1997)David Martin McIntosh (R-IN)
Sue Myrick (R-NC)  
N/A
105th (1997–1999)John Thune (R-SD)N/A
106th (1999–2001)Ernest L. Fletcher (R-KY)N/A
107th (2001–2003)Ander Crenshaw (R-FL)N/A
108th (2003–2005)Tom Feeney (R-FL)N/A
109th (2005–2007)Michael T. McCaul (R-TX)N/A
110th (2007–2009)Doug Lamborn (R-CO)N/A
111th (2009–2011)UnknownN/A
112th (2011–2013)Kristi Noem (R-SD)
Tim Scott (R-SC)
N/A
113th (2013–2015)Ann Wagner (R-MO)N/A
114th (2015–2017)Mimi Walters (R-CA)N/A
115th (2017–2019)Paul Mitchell (R-MI)Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI)
116th (2019–2021)Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA)Veronica Escobar (D-TX)
Katie Hill (D-CA)
Joseph Neguse (D-CO)
117th (2021–2023)Andrew S. Clyde (R-GA)Mondaire Jones (D-NY)
118th (2023–2025)Erin Houchin (R-IN)Jasmine Crockett (D-TX)

Footnotes

1“People Notes: McMillen Elected Freshman President,” 17 March 1988, The Sun (Baltimore, MD): 9; Don Phillips, "House GOP Freshmen Start Fracas," 11 March 1982, United Press International.

2"84th Club Will Hear Rep. McCormick," 7 February 1955, Washington Post: 22.

3"Democrats Tap Solons," 1 April 1971, Daily Chronicle (Centralia, WA): 12; Charles Brownson, Congressional Staff Directory, 1977 (Indianapolis, Bobbs-Merrill Co., 1977): 380.

4"Rep. Capuano Elected Freshman Class President," official website of Representative Michael Capuano, press release, 9 November 1999, archived at https://webarchive.loc.gov/all/20041127121810/http://www.house.gov/capuano/news/1999/pr110999.htm.

5Todd Gillman, "Colin Allred Elected Freshman Class Co-President by New Democrats in Congress," 28 November 2018, Dallas News, https://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/2018/11/28/colin-allred-elected-freshman-class-co-president-by-new-democrats-in-congress/.

6Elected president of the 80th and 81st Club, comprised of freshman and sophomore House Republicans.

7Elected president of the 84th and 85th Club, comprised of freshman and sophomore House Democrats.

8Ned Martel, “Crapo Elected to Leadership Position,” 9 December 1992, States News Service.

9Dan Nakaso, "Hanabusa Takes Leadership Role Among House Freshman Democrats," 1 December 2016, Star Advertiser (Honolulu, HI): n.p.

10Rules of the House Democratic Caucus, 116th Congress, accessed 5 February 2021, https://www.dems.gov/caucus-rules-of-116th-congress; Rules of the House Republican Conference, 116th Congress, accessed 5 February 2021, https://www.gop.gov/conference-rules-of-the-116th-congress/.

11“The Honorable Sue Myrick Oral History Interview,” Office of the Historian, U.S. House of Representatives (14 March 2016): 36. The interview transcript is available online.