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David Rivera in DC; Hispanic Republicans "a great development" for the GOP

Reporters brandishing cheat sheets of pictures of incoming lawmakers swarmed the newly-elected at today's new member orientation -- at one point stranding Rep. David Rivera outside the auditorium.

He answered a battery of questions from reporters looking for news out of the orientation session in which new members learn the House ethics code and the intracicies of setting up congressional offices.

"Was yesterday more of the fireworks when folks were first arriving?" one reporter asked Rivera. "Yesterday we got our computer and Blackberries," Rivera replied.

The Miami Republican said he has been struck by the number of Hispanic Republicans elected this year. Including Rivera, there will be 5 new GOP Hispanic members of the House - two from Texas; one from Washington state and one from Idaho. In years past, for the GOP -- it's been Miami's three Cuban-American members of Congress -- and that's about it.

"Idaho," exclaimed Rivera. "They're coming from districts where you'd never think a Hispanic was elected from. I'm really interested in knowing how he got elected.

"It's a great development for the Republican party," RIvera said of the new class of GOP Hispanics. "And a great opportunity to demonstrate to Hispanics that Republicans reflect their values."