Janna Ryan: Five Facts About Paul Ryan's Wife

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Janna Ryan, the wife of U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, has quickly and predictably been thrust into the national spotlight since her husband, a Wisconsin Congressman, was announced as the Republican nominee for Vice President by Mitt Romney.

Here are a few things to know about the 43-year-old Janna:

Janna Ryan Photo

1. Janna Ryan is 43, and married Paul in 2000. She is stay-at-home mom raising three young children in Wisconsin, Elizabeth, Charles and Samuel (above).

2. Ryan, whose maiden name was Little, grew up in Madill, Oklahoma. Both of her parents spent their careers as successful lawyers in private practice.

A town in Oklahoma, Little City, is named after her family. Like her parents, Janna has a law degree, having graduated from George Washington in 1998.

3. Her family has strong political - and Democratic - connections; Her uncle, David Boren, served as a Democratic governor of Oklahoma and later as its U.S. senator.

Boren's son, Dan Boren, is Janna's cousin and a member of House of Representatives. A Blue Dog Democrat, he has often voted across party lines.

4. Before marrying Paul, Janna was a Washington operative herself, forging an early professional career as a congressional aide and healthcare lobbyist.

Friends describe her as being able to navigate between different worlds - from small-town Oklahoma, where she's from, to prestigious Wellesley College and to D.C., where she is well-versed in complex policy debates.

"She is very comfortable in and around politics. She grew up in a political family, and it comes very naturally to her," said Leslie Belcher, a Washington lobbyist who worked on Capitol Hill with Ryan and was later one of Ryan's bridesmaids.

5. Friends and Romney campaign officials say that while her exact role is unclear, she would undoubtedly be an asset to Romney-Ryan ticket.

"I think she is very relatable," said Missy Edwards, a lobbyist in D.C. who became friends with Ryan when they both worked on Capitol Hill.

"She's from a small town, (with) three young kids, smart, and focused on her family, first."

"They got married eyes wide open, knowing that they wanted to dedicate themselves to public service, and that meant that Janna wouldn't work, and Paul would dedicate himself" to working in Congress, said Jodi Bond, a vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, who has been friends with the Ryans for decades.

Paul Ryan: Good choice for Republican V.P.?

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Paul Ryan Biography

Paul Davis Ryan
Paul Ryan is the U.S. Representative for Wisconsin's 1st congressional district, serving since 1999, and the Republican Party for Vice... More »
Born
Birthplace
Janesville, Wisconsin
Full Name
Paul Davis Ryan