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Congressman Raul Ruiz sworn in in Indio

By Laura Yanez, News Reporter, Laura.Yanez@cbslocal2.com
Published On: Jan 25 2013 01:46:04 AM CST
Updated On: Jan 25 2013 01:55:49 AM CST
INDIO, Calif. -

Hundreds of neighbors and Valley leaders gathered to see their newly elected 36th District Congressional (D) Rep. Raul Ruiz be sworn in to office on Thursday night.

This time, not on Capitol Hill, but at a special and accessible swearing in ceremony at the Indio Boys and Girls Club with the familiar faces who rooted for him all along. Rep. Ruiz placed his hand on the Bible, held by his three neices, and took his oath of office.

This comes just three weeks after Congressman Ruiz was officially sworn in on Jan. 3.

"I was sworn in in Washington D.C. There were a lot of important people there with fancy titles. The people that matter most to me are the people of this district," said Rep. Ruiz.

Many of them lined up to stand side-by-side with the one they now call "Dr. Congressman."

"I have plenty of pictures of him, but not of him as a Congressman," said Maria Blue, of La Quinta, as she waited to take a photo with him.

This congressman may only be a freshman but he's already getting to work, making some tough calls on Capitol Hill. This week he voted in favor of the bipartisan "No Budget, No Pay Act" for Congress.

"It's just like everybody else. If they don't work, they don't get paid. Congress should be held accountable," he said.

Before heading back to D.C. to cast more votes, Congressman Ruiz plans to spend the next week and a half meeting and listening to the voices of the 36th District, including "Talking about the votes I'll be taking about gun violence prevention. I'm really interested to see what firefighters and police have to say," he said.

Constituents are ready to see what the homegrown leader accomplishes next.

"I think he's an up-and-coming star, and we need someone like that who really cares about the people," said Jose Gonzalez.

Sixth-grader Erika Vargas says, "He inspires me to be a someone good and a better leader."

When we asked Congressman Ruiz about Washington and whether he's settled in out there just yet, he said Washington is too cold and will never be home. The Coachella Valley is the only place he calls home.