Greg Gianforte has been elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
On May 25th, Montana voted in a special election to determine who will represent their at-large congressional district in the House of Representatives. This was to replace Ryan Zinke, who resigned from Congress earlier this year when he became secretary of the Interior.
On Wednesday night, political reporter Ben Jacobs said that Gianforte body-slammed him. This came as Jacobs was trying to ask Gianforte for thoughts on the Congressional Budget Office releasing its score of the American Health Care Act.
In a statement, Gianforte said that Jacobs was being aggressive and was asked to leave. A spokesperson for Gianforte said that the “liberal journalist” exhibited “aggressive behavior.”
Gianforte was later charged with misdemeanor assault. Despite this, Gianforte still defeated his Democratic opponent in the election on May 25th.
That means that the newest Congressional spouse is Susan Gianforte, whom Greg has been married to for over 20 years. Here’s what you need to know about Susan Gianforte, the wife of Greg Gianforte.
1. She is the Daughter of German Immigrants
Susan Gianforte is the daughter of German immigrants to the United States. Susan herself was born in New York City and raised by her widowed mother, according to the Gianforte Foundation website.
Susan stayed in New York to attend college, earning her BS in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University. She then went to California to get an MS in Mechanical Engineering from UC Berkeley but returned to New York to get an MBA from New York University.
Greg Gianforte, meanwhile, was born in San Diego, California.
2. They Met While Working at AT&T Bell Laboratories
Greg and Susan Gianforte first met at work.
They both worked at AT&T Bell Laboratories in New Jersey in the 1980s, with Greg serving as a product manager from 1983 through 1986, according to the Independent Record. They both ended up leaving in order to form a software company of their own.
“My wife and I started our software company in the extra bedroom of our home with very little capital, and over the years, that business grew to be one of the state’s largest employers,” Greg Gianforte said during a recent campaign event. “In fact, as of last year, 40 percent of all the wage growth in the entire state occurred in Gallatin County.”
In addition to helping Greg start this company, Susan Gianforte also worked for KPMG/Nolan, Norton & Co., working her way up to a senior management position. After her first two children were born, Susan began working part time, and when their third child was born, she became a full time stay-at-home mom.
Greg and Susan Gianforte were married in 1989, according to the Gianforte campaign website.
3. She Manages the Finances of the Gianforte Family Foundation
In addition to taking care of her four children, Susan Gianforte spends much of her time managing the finances of the Gianforte Family Foundation.
According to the organization’s website, the Gianforte Family Foundation aims to support faith-based organizations, organizations that improve education and create jobs, and organizations that support the community of Bozeman, Montana.
The Gianforte Family Foundation has donated over $51.7 million to organizations in Bozeman, Montana, where the Gianfortes live; they moved to Bozeman in 1995 after the birth of their fourth child.
4. She Was Against an LGBT Nondiscrimination Ordinance in Montana
In Bozeman, Montana, Susan Gianforte has fought against laws that would prohibit discrimination against LGBT people.
Susan and her husband Greg in 2014 both opposed a citywide LGBT nondiscrimination ordinance, saying it would hurt businesses.
“Homosexual advocates try to argue that businesses are leery of locating in towns that aren’t friendly to homosexuals,” Greg Gianforte said in an email in 2014, according to the Huffington Post. “I believe the opposite is truer.”
Susan herself said that “Business owners don’t want a non-discrimination ordinance,” adding that they are “afraid of being boycotted, picketed, trashed, sued and otherwise threatened,” according to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.
This ordinance ended up passing.
In 2016, Greg and Susan donated $8 million to Montana State University in exchange for the department’s headquarters being named after them. Many students at the university objected to this because of the Gianfortes’ views on LGBT rights.
“This issue is not about differing political opinions. This is about an institutional level acceptance of discrimination and hatred,” one student said at the time, according to Campus Reform. “Given Greg’s opposition to the NDO (non discrimination ordinance) and the support of an anti-gay hate group, it is clear that at best he disregards the homophobia of this association and at worst is an outright opponent to an entire population of human beings merely because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
5. She & Greg Have Four Children
Greg and Susan have four children together.
One of Greg’s sons is named David, and according to Gianforte’s Twitter feed, he likes to hunt.
Greg’s second son is Adam Gianforte, who also enjoys hunting.
Greg also has a son named Robert, who was married in 2014.
Finally, Greg has one daughter, who he says got a perfect ACT score and goes to Stanford University.