"Will the representative-elect and the members of the Texas delegation present themselves in the well?," said Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the House.
For Randy Neugebauer, it was the final leg of a very long journey. Three months ago, he was just one of 17 faces in a field of candidates. "Randy Neugebauer," he stated for the cameras at a candidates forum on March 28th, 2003. "N-e-u-g-e-b-a-u-e-r," he said slowly.
A name that would soon dominate. Raising $640,000, traveling over 12,000 miles, and winning by a margin of 587 votes. Topping it all off with four powerful words. "So help me God," he said as he was sworn in.
Hours later, he was thrown into the fire, attending a closed door meeting with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. "A briefing, a classified briefing on Iraq this afternoon by Secretary Rumsfeld, and actually had a few minutes to visit with him, as it's been a very fun day," he said.
Next on the agenda? Securing a seat on a committee vital to West Texas. "Well certainly agriculture is one of those, and there's an opening on that committee and believe we'll get appointed to that," he said confidently.
A snapshot of day one, for the new representative from the 19th district. "Welcome to the U.S. House of Representatives," smiled a new colleague.