By Debbie Siegelbaum - 08/11/12 07:25 PM EDT
Former Washington tax attorney Janna Ryan reportedly used to go hunting with her outdoorsman beau, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), when they first began dating in 1999. Today, both she and her husband are setting their sights on much bigger game.
On Saturday, presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney announced Ryan as his running mate, catapulting Janna Ryan into the national media spotlight as her husband vies for the White House.
The pretty blonde met Ryan in 1999 during his first term in the House. At the time, Janna Christine Little was working as a tax attorney for PricewaterhouseCoopers and lived in Arlington, Va.
Ryan was 30, Little age 31 at the time of the marriage, which took place in December 2000 in the bride’s home state of Oklahoma.
Immediately following the nuptials, Ryan had to choose between his new wife and the demands of Congress, opting to forego voting on unfinished budget matters in favor of a honeymoon to the Virgin Islands.
Ryan allegedly first consulted then-House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) before being advised there were only minor votes scheduled, according to local news reports.
"I'm going to keep my first commitment to my wife, and that's to take her on a honeymoon," Ryan said, as reported by the Associated Press.
The Ryans subsequently made their home in Wisconsin, and in the decade to follow had three children, daughter Liza and sons Charlie and Sam.
Not much is known about Janna Ryan, who's kept a low-public profile despite her husband's political fame.
As she embarks on the campaign trail with her husband, Americans are already reacting positively to the one-time attorney and congressional wife.
“Janna Ryan is adorable!” wrote one fan on Twitter Saturday. “She and Ann [Romney] look great together!”
“Anxious to see pretty and smart Janna Ryan and their children!” tweeted another supporter.
Janna Ryan has also gotten the seal of approval from another member of the House. On Saturday, Rep. Dan Boren (D-Okla.) issued congratulatory words for the couple. Boren is not only a colleague of Rep. Ryan’s, but is Janna Ryan’s first cousin.
“Andrea and I are excited for Paul and Janna,” he wrote. “Janna and I grew up together and I couldn’t be more proud of my cousin. Like my late mother after whom she is named, Janna is a wonderful parent to their children and will be Paul’s strongest supporter on the campaign trail.”
And while he resides across the political aisle from the vice presidential nominee, Boren had kind words of praise for the Wisconsin Republican.
“Paul has a firm moral compass and has always approached his job as a congressman with diligence and honesty,” Boren wrote. “Having many friends on both sides of the aisle, he is an effective and talented leader. Although we belong in different political parties, I see Paul as a friend, a fellow hunter, and most importantly a family man.”