WASHINGTON -- Driving from Michigan in his Ford F-150 pickup truck, David Curson arrived in Washington a week ago. He set up an office last Sunday, was sworn in as a congressman on Tuesday and by Friday had logged his first votes and given his first floor speech -- one that stretched a bit past the one minute he'd been allotted.
The Democrat has no time to waste. In six weeks, he'll be gone.
In Congress' packed lame-duck session, Curson is a curiosity. The 64-year-old is one of four members of the House sworn in this past week to fill a partial term, but he's the only one who didn't win a full, two-year term to follow.
In January, he'll drive his truck home. Curson did not run for a full term, only opting to run in the special election after other Democrats took a pass. The burly ex-Marine and United Auto Workers union representative says he didn't even realize for sure that he'd won until midafternoon the day after the election.
"It kind of stunned everybody, but immediately the phone just came off the hook," he said. Party leaders called offering "all the help they could to get me off the ground and running."
Curson said he's keen to play whatever role he can as Congress seeks to navigate the fiscal cliff and a slew of other thorny, year-end issues.
So far, he says, it's been a frenetic, enjoyable experience.
Impressive enough to consider a run for a full term? "At this point, no," he said. But you never know. "I might catch the bug."