Hayworth, a lifelong Republican, will represent New York’s 19th Congressional District next year. She defeated her Democratic opponent, Rep. John Hall, by 6 percentage points in the midterm election earlier this month and will join at least four other Princeton alumni in the House.
Hayworth said she was grateful for every day while at the University.
As a freshman she lived in the Princeton Inn — now Forbes College — where she met her future husband, Scott Hayworth ’78.
In addition to taking pre-medical courses, Nan worked for the Princeton Radio Station and joined Cloister Inn. “She loved the food at Cloister. She befriended all the chefs,” Scott said. He was also pre-medical student.
Hayworth was a biology major and a member of the same class as Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan and former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer. But while Kagan and Spitzer were both active in campus politics — the former as editorial chairman of The Daily Princetonian and the latter as student government president — Hayworth demonstrated no political aspirations in college.
The Hayworths married following Nan’s graduation, and both attended Weill Cornell Medical College. After finishing their medical training, Nan ran her own practice and Scott eventually became chief executive of the Mount Kisco Medical Group, a medical group of over 200 doctors.
Nan was always an active member of her community and was especially fond of doing volunteer work for Princeton. She became the president of the alumni association, her first role representing a large group.
“Its past is the best; its future is brilliant,” she said of the University.
Hayworth said that in November 2008, when President Barack Obama was elected and Democrats won large majorities in both houses of Congress, she became less certain of the future of her country. “I was convinced that the supermajority election would bring an expansion of the federal government beyond the scope of what was healthy for the country,” she explained.
By December, she said, she saw that “there was so much discontent with the government and there was much discontent with our congressman,” so she decided to challenge Hall, a two-term incumbent, in the next election.
“I was only interested in becoming a doctor, and the idea of seriously holding public office never came to mind until December of 2008,” she said. “Given my 22 years living in the district and time as a small-business owner, I figured I had something to give.”
Hayworth, who will be part of a new Republican majority in the House, said there is hard work ahead to change to course of the country for the better. Days after winning the election, she was notified about orientation procedures. “There was little down time, which is great,” she said.
Hayworth’s election was closely watched nationally, as she was seen as part of the Tea Party wave of Republican candidates. Running in a moderate district north of New York City, she embraced small-government positions such as repealing this year’s health care reform and abolishing the estate tax.
Regardless of what lies ahead, her husband is convinced that she can be a real force in Washington. “She’s a brilliant woman,” Scott Hayworth said. “She’ll do well in any new career.”
Nan Hayworth said she is just focused on her upcoming job as a freshman representative.
“I’ve always been a pretty intense person,” she added. “I just want to justify to all the people who chose me why I’m here.”