I'm blushing. I do have a strong desire to put my body where my mouth is (or, at least my keyboard). That's how I ended up in the Army. The mental stimulation of all of those policy issues would be exhilarating. Maybe what I should do, though, is work on the campaign of whoever does run, and become a policy wonk for them. It would be nice to be "in charge", though...
I going to offer a few observations (not advice) gleaned from a few decades of interactions with my Senators and Representatives, and other assorted elected officials. And from trying to do 'big' things and still have a life (and wife).
The idea that you have capabilities to provide policy support to a fresh Representative, I have no doubt. The idea that someone with whom you do not already have a long history of engaging with on policy issues recognizing that you are a valuable asset is hopeless. New Congresscritters, in particular, listen to money, as they are in constant campaign mode, given the realities of our political process. Senators tend to have more actual policy staff because the length of their term allows them to consider things that are not solely reactive to emergent events and fundraising. In any case, the elected will be the boss, and the boss always
knows more than the staff.
Congresspeople don't generally have much in the way of policy staff, largely due to largely not having a policy focus or a budget for it, and largely due to the pressure from constituents to respond in doing something for them.
Most new Representatives will have big egos and be dumber than you, two big reasons why you would be extremely frustrated in any attempts to help them with policy issues.
If you run, you will have to be a salesman and a schmoozer to get elected. Those 'qualities' are more important than being smart and having good ideas. A politician has to sell that they are smart and have good ideas, as the majority of voters won't recognize it otherwise (see the paragraph above). The downside is that all too often the really good salesmen are dumb, lying, egotistical, and corrupt assholes (see example @#impotus) and you will have to compete with them in the campaign and again while in office.
On the subject of wives, from what you have shared in the past you have a high level of desire to be active, and possibly ambitious, while your wife does not share that desire, being older and content to be on a comfortable glide path into the future. That's a tough one. I don't even know how to talk about it. My wife isn't always happy about some of my windmill tilting, and I often long for a calmer and more predictable life of just doing my own projects, but there is also a strong feeling of responsibility that I have useful things to offer and would feel terrible if I abandoned the effort in favor of enjoying the rest of my life in idleness and ease. Fortunately, my lady shares a number of related aspirations (she always wanted to be a farmer) and is very willing to participate in some of the activities that come along with me and my mission.
I have considered running for local office before, but really don't think I would be all that good at it, and it would suck up valuable time and resources from what I am good at.
I bet those ramblings don't help much, but hey, it could be an interesting new topic!
"How do folks make big decisions in life?"