WATERBURY, CT (WFSB) - Connecticut's newest U.S. representative opened her headquarters on Tuesday, after delaying it due to the partial government shutdown.

Rep. Jahana Hayes was officially sworn into office as the state's 5th District representative earlier this month.

She opened her headquarters in Waterbury on Tuesday.

“I am so excited to be in downtown Waterbury, where people can walk by and stop in the office and visit their office," Hayes said on Tuesday.

Hayes encouraged people to stop by her office to meet the staff at the 108 Bank St. location.

On Tuesday, Waterbury's mayor and residents dropped in to wish her well.

“We’re here to pay respect to our newest Congress member Jahana Hayes, and to make her an honorary member of the Waterbury Veterans Memorial Committee," said Robert Door, of Waterbury.

Hayes is a former National Teacher of the Year, and is the first black woman to represent Connecticut in Congress. She defeated Republican Manny Santos in her run.

Hayes says she’s already been hearing about how the government shutdown has been affecting workers in her district, from those that work at Danbury Federal Corrections and at the IRS in Waterbury.

“I think the shutdown has been a sobering reality of why I ran in the first place,” Hayes said.

The shutdown delayed the opening of this office as well because government contractors are used for much of the work.

“These are the elected leaders in this country right now. There has to be some willingness to move on both sides,” Hayes said.

The congresswoman says she will do her duty in representing her district to Washington.

“I’m not a person who is just going to be a straight-line voter every time. I have to do what’s best for the people in the fifth district and ultimately in this country,” Hayes said.

Copyright 2019 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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