Paul Broun is the newest member of the U.S. Congress.
The 61-year-old Rep. Broun, who is an Athens physician and lives in Oconee County, officially took the oath of office from U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, during a nightly Congress session last Wednesday.
The special swearing in ceremony came just a day after Rep. Broun was certified as the winner over Jim Whitehead, a former state representative of the 24th District, which included McDuffie and several surrounding counties.
"I'm ecstatic about serving the people of the 10th District of Georgia," Rep. Broun told The McDuffie Mirror. "I don't want to serve just a portion of the people in this district, but rather all of the people of this fine district."
Contacted at his office in Washington, D.C., Rep. Broun said he wants to get down to doing the people's business as fast as he can, but would reserve voting on issues that he is not yet familiar.
"I truly want to do the best job possible for every person living in the 10th District of Georgia," Rep. Broun said. "I want to be a one-man chamber of commerce for every community and city within the district."
During the recent special election to fill the unexpired term of the late U.S. Rep. Charlie Norwood, controversy arose with some people in the Augusta area contending that, if elected, Mr. Broun's interest would be more for the people of the Athens-Clarke County area than the Augusta area.
Rep. Broun, however, flatly denied such.
"Those statements were made by other people, certainly not me," Rep. Broun said. "I'm eager to do positive things for both the people of the Athens-Clarke County area the same as I am for the people of the Augusta area."
Rep. Broun said he wants to continue to promote economic development within the 10th District and to promote the Medical College of Georgia - the same school he attended as a med student.
"I want to see the 10th District be everything it can become," Rep. Broun said. "With help from those who want the same thing, we can accomplish this together."
The new congressman said he plans to work hard during the next few weeks to put together a staff for offices in Washington, D.C., as well as three offices that he plans to open within the district. Those offices would be located in Athens, Toccoa and Augusta.
Rep. Broun said he also has plans to visit with as many local officials and residents as he can in the near future.
"I want to meet as many people as I can and let them know that I'm here to help them in any way that I can," Rep. Broun said. "I look forward to serving the people of Georgia as their congressman and want them to know they can call me, if I or a member of my staff can be of assistance."