15 things about Christopher Shays
1. Shays grew up in Darien, Conn., a ritzy town an hour from New York City.
2. He has been married to his high school sweetheart, Betsi Shays, for 38 years. She's a former social studies teacher who now occasionally bicycles to work at the Peace Corps headquarters.
3. During the Vietnam War, he registered as a conscientious objector and said that if drafted he would not serve.
4. In 1968, before Shays left for a two-year Peace Corps stint in Fiji with his new bride, he was a bit concerned about the assignment. He had read in the encyclopedia that cannibalism was still practiced there.
5. During their tour as young Peace Corps teachers, Shays and his wife also helped Fijian women start up a cooperative to sell handmade crafts to western tourists. Shays contributed changes to the business model, including quadrupling the price of the crafts, which he considered a "basic marketing skill that every American knows."
6. Disgusted with Watergate and the Vietnam War, he supported George McGovern in 1972.
7. Shays was 29 when he was first elected to the Connecticut House; he served there for 12 years.
8. He served six days in jail on a contempt charge when he was a member of the Connecticut Legislature protesting judicial corruption.
9. He was elected to Congress in 1987 and represents the same district where George H. W. Bush grew up.
10. He was one of five Republicans to vote against President Clinton's impeachment; he is considered a maverick by many in the GOP.
11. In 1999, with their daughter, Jeramy, in college and tuition costs to be paid, the Shayses sold their home in pricey Stamford and bought a home about half the size (and almost half the price) in Bridgeport, an old industrial city about 20 miles away.
12. Shays and his daughter both graduated from Principia College, a school for Christian Scientists.
13. He was the first congressman to visit Iraq after the war began and has been back 10 times.
14. His favorite books are Hawaii by James Michener and Mila 18 by Leon Uris.
15. Two people he admires are Nelson Mandela and Colin Powell.