Gaetz, a 38-year-old member of the House Judiciary Committee, caused a stir on Twitter Wednesday night, December 30, when he proposed to his 26-year-old girlfriend. Fox News host and former judge Jeanine Pirro, who was in attendance, tweeted out a picture congratulating the couple.
The photo, shared around 8:30 p.m. on December 30, 2020, shows Gaetz embracing his new fiancée with the caption: “Congressman @mattgaetz asked and Ginger said ‘yes.'”
The tweet has since amassed over 25,000 likes and invoked a mixed bag of responses, ranging from support to criticism.
The New York Times reported Gaetz proposed at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
Although Gaetz has said in the past that he likes to keep his private life private, Twitter users were quick to identify his future wife as Ginger Luckey — and they noted her relationship to American entrepreneur Palmer Luckey, her brother.
“Apparently, this is Ginger Luckey, who is the sister of right-wing donor and former Facebook executive Palmer Luckey,” one user wrote.
Gaetz, who defines himself on his website as a “tireless defender of President Trump and his vision for the United States,” has earned a reputation in recent months as a polarizing figure. According to his official page, Gaetz was dubbed the “Trumpiest Congressman in Trump’s Washington” by GQ Magazine and Rolling Stone — titles “he considers badges of honor.”
There are very few public photos of Luckey and the representative together, aside from one Gaetz tweeted on December 10.
Gaetz, who drew attention earlier in 2020 when he revealed he had adopted his ex-girlfriend’s 19-year-old brother, Nestor Galban, as his son, thanked Pirro on Twitter for the shout-out, writing: “Thank you for sharing the moment with us Judge!”
Luckey has not commented on the engagement publicly on any of her social media platforms.
Here is what you need to know about Ginger Luckey, Matt Gaetz’s fiancée:
1. Luckey Is a Financial Analyst at Apeel, a Company Dedicated to Reducing Food Waste
Luckey has worked at Apeel, a California-based company dedicated to reducing food waste, for the last four years, she said on LinkedIn. She has been in her current role, a financial analyst position described as “Analyst, Sales Operations & Enablement,” since June of 2020.
According to Apeel’s website, the company “made it [our] mission to build a barrier that could be applied to fruits and vegetables using edible materials that could slow down the rate of spoilage.” Fast Company named Apeel one of its “World Changing Ideas 2019,” saying “founder James Rogers realized that a simple coating could extend the life of food. The coating itself is derived from food.”
Luckey leads the “Sales Operations team supporting sales enablement, business analysis and tooling for the commercial team,” her LinkedIn indicates.
She also manages “the processes of sales forecasting, deliver dashboards and reports to the Sales team, and report on team performance to company stakeholders,” she wrote on LinkedIn.
2. Luckey Used to Be a Sailing Coach
Working with high school students, Luckey helped them “develop and enhance their racing skills in both the bay and open ocean waters,” she said on LinkedIn.
She said she also “planned out and integrated daily workouts, on-the-water drills, practice races, as well as regatta coaching at local and national events.”
3. She Is the Sister of American Entrepreneur Palmer Luckey, Founder of Oculus VR
According to a 2014 New York Post article, Luckey is the sibling of Palmer Luckey, the founder of Oculus VR and designer of Oculus Rift — a virtual reality head-mounted display that propelled the industry in 2012.
“[Palmer] Luckey was attracted to technology from an early age, his friends and family said,” the New York Post stated, writing, “Luckey’s sister Ginger recalls her brother showing kids how to make a clock out of a potato at the park. … ‘He was king of the nerds,’ she added jokingly.”
Palmer Luckey sold his company to Facebook in 2014 for $2 billion, according to CNBC, and has since founded Anduril Industries, “a defense technology start-up that’s focusing on national security and artificial intelligence.”
In 2016, Forbes listed Palmer Luckey as #22 on America’s Richest Entrepreneurs Under 40, citing his net worth as of December 12, 2016, as $730 million.
4. Luckey Attended the University of California, Santa Barbara
From 2012 to 2016, Luckey pursued a bachelor’s degree at the University of California, Santa Barbara, according to her LinkedIn.
She studied economics and accounting, and participated in the varsity sailing team, the page reads. According to College Sailing, she sailed in more than 50 races, including five regattas, during her college career.
She also volunteered as a worship leader for Cru Global from 2014 to 2016, a big sister for the Big Brother Big Sister Foundation from 2017 to 2020 and an elementary piano and vocal teacher for MUSIC Matters, she said on LinkedIn.
Luckey’s LinkedIn also indicates that she studied abroad in Italy and France, and that she began a Harvard Business School Online program in sustainable business strategy in 2021.
5. Luckey Runs Several Social Media Accounts, Including a Popular Food Instagram
Although some of her accounts are more active than others, Luckey runs a food Instagram with the username @GingeEats. Boasting roughly 900 followers, the wife-to-be shares must-see restaurants located throughout Santa Barbara. She also highlights which restaurants are offering coronavirus-related dine-in services or to-go menus.
The page also features a section dedicated to Black-owned restaurants.