Republican Congressman Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s choice of a running mate, is not the only new, youthful face that has stepped into the spotlight in the last week. Janna Ryan, Paul’s wife, has quite a history of her own on Capitol Hill. Here are seven things to know about Janna Ryan…
1. She’s a homemaker and stay-at-home mom. Janna, 43 — a year older than her husband! — is mother to Ryan’s three adorable children: Liza, 10; Charlie, 8; and Sam, 7. The family lives in Janesville, Wisconsin, her husband’s hometown.
2. But she used to be a successful lobbyist. Before marrying Paul in 2000, Janna was a lobbyist and tax attorney for PriceWaterhouseCooper and Williams & Jenson. Throughout her three years as a lobbyist, Janna advocated for health-related issues on behalf of Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance and the American Physical Therapy Association. It’ll be interesting to see how her experience has affected her husband’s views on healthcare, including his desire to privatize Medicare.
3. She’s got her own city! Well, sort of. Born Janna Little in Madill, Oklahoma, the town of Little City, Oklahoma is named after Janna’s family. Formerly known as Janna Little from Madill, Oklahoma, Paul Ryan’s wife comes from a political household, with both her parents being successful lawyers.
4. She’s well-educated. Janna studied Spanish at Wellesley College — Hillary Clinton’s alma mater — and got her law degree at George Washington University in 1998.
5. Politics is in her blood. Her grandfather help found the American Party, a third party, in Oklahoma in 1968, as part of an effort to get Alabama Governor George Wallace on the ballot in the state. Both of her parents were lawyers and her mother was appointed by the governor as a founding member of the Oklahoma Ethics Commission and the Oklahoma Council of Campaign Compliance and Ethical Standards. Plus, her cousin is Representative Dan Boren (D-OK).
6. She’s got money. After her mother passed away from melanoma in 2010, Janna inherited a trust fund worth millions and the money is a significant portion of the Ryan’s net worth.
7. She’s religious. Janna, along with her husband, is a devout Roman Catholic, which will definitely be mentioned throughout the campaign as issues like abortion rights and birth control are debated.