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In the upper branches of Paul Ryan’s family tree: Democrats

By Laurie Bennett

August 12, 2012 at 11:04am

Not since Maria Shriver became first lady of California has there been such a prominent politically mixed marriage.

Janna Ryan, wife of Mitt Romney’s choice for vice president, Paul Ryan, comes from generations of Democrats.

Paul Ryan
Paul Ryan

Her cousin Daniel Boren is a Democratic congressman from Oklahoma. Her uncle, University of Oklahoma President David Boren, also a Democrat, is a former U.S. senator and governor of Oklahoma.

David Boren’s father, Lyle Boren, also served in Congress as a Democrat, representing Oklahoma from 1937 to 1946.

And as long as we’re scrutinizing the family tree, we should point out that Lyle Boren’s sister, Mae Boren Axton, co-wrote the song “Heartbreak Hotel,” made famous by Elvis Presley. Her son was actor-musician Hoyt Axton.

Dan Boren issued a statement after Romney’s announcement saying, “Janna and I grew up together and I couldn’t be more proud of my cousin.

“Although we belong in different political parties,” he added, “I see Paul as a friend, a fellow hunter, and most importantly, a family man.”

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