César González: Chief of staff, Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart (R-Fla.)
César González first moved to Washington at the urging of a friend who worked for then-Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.).
“When I first moved here, I moved in with her and her husband and they both worked on the Hill. I never saw them. And I was like, ‘I do not want that lifestyle,'” said González.
Now González is a 20-year veteran of the House of Representatives who’s held his job as chief of staff to Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart (R-Fla.) for 13 years.
González in part credits his longevity to the rapport he has with Díaz-Balart and with his first boss, former Rep. Lincoln Díaz-Balart (R-Fla.), Mario’s older brother.
The elder Díaz-Balart assigned González to work in the Rules Committee, a job that materialized his fears of interminable work days and where the House “just became part of who I am now”.
“And so here’s the ironic part — I started working with Lincoln and then a few months later, I’m doing his Rules Committee work, which has, as you know, the worst hours in all of Capitol Hill,” said González.
González is now known as a uniquely empowered chief of staff, able to speak for his boss in a multitude of settings, at times acting as Díaz-Balart’s surrogate.
“I don’t think that level of empowerment is always common,” said González.
“I’ve worked in a family for so long, I know what they think, I know where they stand on so many issues, I’m channeling their voice. And I think they know that and they trust that because I’ve been with them for so long.”