Rep.-Elect Debbie Dingell on What Her Husband John Is Not Telling Her

Rep.-Elect Dingell is set to take her retiring husband's seat.

ByABC News
November 24, 2014, 4:17 PM

— -- Rep.-Elect Debbie Dingell, D-Michigan, is no stranger to the halls of the Congress. Her husband, the 88-year-old dean of the House, Rep. John Dingell, has served on the Hill since 1955.

But now, Rep.-Elect Dingell, 61, is set to take on the U.S. Congress herself -- representing her retiring husband’s old district in the 114th Congress.

On the campaign trail, she said, the two were careful to maintain a “concrete wall.”

“I needed to earn the respect of everybody in the 12th and have them to get to know me,” she told ABC News’ Jeff Zeleny.

Asked if her husband would act as an adviser during her tenure, Dingell told ABC, “I think that he’s really afraid to give me advice -- and I hope he gets over that.”

Rep.-elect Dingell, who just chose her new office last week, said she’ll likely use her husband’s desk. It also belonged to Dingell’s father, Rep. John Dingell Sr., who served in the House for 22 years.

“If I could have the desk that the man who authored Social Security and the man who sat in the chair and helped author Medicare and the Civil Rights Act [used], maybe it’ll inspire and help me to do good things while I’m here," Dingell said.