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    Here’s what you need to know about Annie ‘Raise the Roof’ Kuster

    Congresswomen, dressed in white in tribute to the women's suffrage movement, applaud as they attend the State of the Union address at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on Feb. 5. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP)MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images
    Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
    Representative Annie Kuster of New Hampshire (center, in glasses) was given the nickname “Raise the Roof” by “Saturday Night Live” this weekend for this joyful reaction at the State of the Union.

    Sharp-eyed New England viewers might have caught New Hampshire Representative Annie Kuster’s joyful performance at President Trump’s State of the Union address last week. But now that “Saturday Night Live” has memorialized it in a funny “Women of Congress” sketch (in which Kuster, played by Aidy Bryant, is called Annie “Raise the Roof” Kuster), the Democratic congresswoman is getting all sorts of buzz. Here’s what else you should know about her:

      Kuster comes from a political family. Her father was mayor of Concord, N.H. Her mother was a state senator. Her great-grandfather was governor. In fact, Kuster’s mother, Susan McLane, ran for Congress in 1980 in a race that also included Charlie Bass, who later became the congressman Kuster beat to win her seat. All in the family!

     Kuster, a Democrat, is in her fourth term in the House, representing New Hampshire’s Second District. When she first won her seat in 2012, she became part of the nation’s first all-female delegation to Washington. The other members at the time were Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte and Representative Carol Shea-Porter.


     In 2016, before the #MeToo movement, Kuster spoke on the floor of the US House about her own experiences as the victim of sexual assault: once as an undergraduate at Dartmouth College and twice as a young staffer on Capitol Hill. “What we hear on college campuses, on military bases, in the workplace, and in the courthouse is that he has a future, he has potential, he was drunk, he didn’t mean any harm, he just wanted to have fun, to get some action and then get on with his life,” Kuster said. “What about her? What about her future? The student, the soldier, the sailor, the mother, the sister? We have been silent for too long.”

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     In 2018, Kuster’s guest at the State of the Union address was Chessy Prout, the victim in the high-profile sexual assault case at St. Paul’s School in Concord, N.H.

     Kuster, a lifelong skier, is co-chair of the Congressional Ski and Snowboard Caucus. Now you know.

    Felice Belman can be reached at