Nov. 6, 2012 – 11:26 p.m.

113th Congress: Tom Cotton, R-Ark. (4th District)

Tom Cotton wants to be a fresh face in “a new generation of leaders” who strive to “put country above politics.”

The 4th District has traditionally been a Democratic stronghold, but the latest round of redistricting added some conservative counties.

As a 6th generation Arkansan, Cotton knows the people and the state well. He grew up in a very conservative family that was not politically active.

He always envisioned himself in public service, with his original plan being a career in teaching. He came of age during Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign and credits Clinton for sparking his interest in current affairs.

Cotton doesn’t plan to seek specific committee assignments, but he would like to balance his work between domestic (specifically economic) and national security or foreign policy issues.

He doesn’t expect either party to compromise on principles but hopes that headway can be made where there are areas of overlapping policy goals, such as overhauling the tax code.

His policy priorities include debt issues, taxes and health care.

In the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, Cotton decided that he wanted to serve his country via the military. A graduate of Harvard Law School, he chose the infantry over the Army JAG corps and deployed to Baghdad in 2006 with the 101st Airborne. He also served in Afghanistan.

After his military service, he worked as a management consultant.