Matthew Manda is a communications professional and the husband of Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, who was first elected to represent New York’s 21st district during the 2014 midterms when she was 30 years old. At the time, she was the youngest woman ever to be elected to Congress. (Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was elected in 2018 at age 29).
Stefanik’s national profile rose during the public impeachment hearings against former President Donald Trump and she has been one of his most vocal supporters in Congress. On May 14, Stefanik was elected to replace Rep. Liz Cheney as chair of the House Republican conference, CNBC reported. The vote tally was 134 to 46.
On Twitter, Manda sometimes retweets his wife’s messages and posts about his support for hunting. But Manda has tended to stay out of political discussions on social media.
Here’s what you need to know about Stefanik’s husband:
1. Matthew Manda First Met Elise Stefanik When Mutual Friends Brought Him to a Party She Hosted in 2012
Manda and Stefanik were both living in Washington, D.C. when they met in early 2012. She was managing debate preparation for Rep. Paul Ryan while he was running for Vice President as Mitt Romney’s running mate. (Ryan was voted Speaker of the House in 2015).
Manda had just moved to Capitol Hill to serve as the communications director for Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder of Kansas.
According to their wedding announcement in the New York Times, Stefanik hosted a party in January of 2012. Mutual friends brought Manda to the occasion and sparks flew between them. They began dating shortly after.
2. Manda Popped the Question During a Trip to Lake Placid In Upstate New York & the Ring Was Tied With Dental Floss
Stefanik explained to the Chronicle that Manda proposed during a trip to Lake Placid in August 2016. She said they were sitting at the Mirror Lake Inn, on a second-floor porch overlooking the lake, having a drink when Manda got down on one knee and popped the question.
Stefanik explained to the newspaper that Lake Placid held special significance to them. When they first began dating and she brought him to northern New York, the first place she brought him was Lake Placid.
She added that in preparation for the proposal, Manda had taken extra steps to ensure he would not misplace the ring. Inside the box, the ring was tied with dental floss. Stefanik told the Chronicle, “Matt’s dad is a dentist, and he didn’t want the ring to slip and drop it and lose it!”
Manda also made sure that they had a visible memory of the moment. He asked someone in the restaurant to take photos as he got down on one knee.
He shared that photo to Instagram with the caption, “I don’t remember every word I said – but I know she said ‘yes’ and that’s all that matters to me. Luckiest guy in the world.”
3. Manda & Stefanik Tied the Knot In Saratoga Springs In August 2017
Stefanik and Manda got married one year after getting engaged. The ceremony took place at the Hall of Springs reflecting pool in Saratoga Springs, New York on August 19, 2017. Retired New York State Supreme Court Justice Jan Plumadore officiated.
Stefanik told Brides.com that she relief heavily on her mother and a wedding planner to put everything together due to her hectic schedule traveling between Capitol Hill and New York. The outlet described the theme of the nuptials as a cross between A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the Ascot scene from My Fair Lady.
Manda and Stefanik appeared to make the most out of their first dance. Manda shared a photo to Instagram of him dipping Stefanik. He wrote in the caption, “Gonna dance the years away with you!”
The couple has also added a dog to their family. Stefanik shared pictures of their dog named Nala to Instagram on her and Manda’s second wedding anniversary.
4. Manda Is the Marketing & Communications Director For a Media Company
Manda and Stefanik’s primary residence is in Schuylerville, New York. The village is located in Saratoga County about 40 miles north of Albany. Stefanik’s deputy chief of staff announced in December 2018 that the congresswoman and her husband had purchased a house.
But like his wife, Manda also splits his time between upstate New York and Washington, D.C. His Twitter bio lists both regions as his primary locations.
According to their wedding announcement, Manda worked as the marketing and communications director for Media Group of America in Arlington, Virginia. Manda’s LinkedIn profile simply states that he has been working in strategic communications since 2008.
5. Manda Grew Up In Kansas
Manda poked fun at his younger self in a throwback photo shared to Instagram in 2018. Manda appears to have been about 10 years old in the picture, holding a bow and wearing a camo hat. “When I was a young boy, I dreamed of being an outdoorsman, bow hunting big game and living off the land…while donning multicolored athletic shorts and Asics kicks.”
Stefanik shared a few random tidbits about Manda with the Chronicle after they got engaged: “He loves BBQ, music, KU basketball, the Adirondacks, and craft beer.”