Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway became a familiar sight during the 2016 presidential election when the campaign manager for Donald Trump made frequent TV appearances, over 1,200 of them, according to a profile in The New York Post. The 49-year-old is credited with being the first woman to run a successful U.S. presidential campaign and is now headed for a key position at the White House.
Trump announced Thursday that he has selected Conway to serve as “counselor to the president” after he is sworn in next month.
But who is the woman who will be one step away from the new president for the next four years? Here are 5 things you might not know about Kellyanne:
She’s a Jersey girl through and through
The Garden State native was born in Camden, grew up in Atco (part of Waterford Township), where her mother worked at an Atlantic City casino, and currently lives in a $6 million house in Alpine in Bergen County, though she has said she is open to moving to Washington, DC, should she be offered a job in the White House.
At age 16, she won the New Jersey Blueberry Princess pageant
As a teen she went on to win the World Champion Blueberry Packing competition. She got familiar with the fruit by working at a Hammonton blueberry farm, reports NJ.com. Now that’s a lot of blueberries!
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She didn’t grow up with politics
Though she went on to love politics and start her own firm, The Polling Company, she didn’t grow up in a political family. She told The New Yorker, “We had pictures of the Pope and the Last Supper and anything I drew at school. We never had pictures of Kennedy or Reagan. We never had a single political conversation that I can remember.” It wasn’t until she attended St. Joseph High School and covered both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions for a local paper that she got hooked on her future career.
She met Donald Trump after living in his condo
She met her future boss after getting married in 2001 and moving in to Trump World Tower with her husband, George T. Conway III. She told The New Yorker, “I sat on the condo board, and [Trump is] very involved in his condos. Over the years, he would ask me my opinion about politics.”
She’s a mom of four
Kellyanne has four children: twins Claudia and George, 12, and their younger sisters, Charlotte and Vanessa and told Politico earlier this month that they will always come first. Even during the campaign, she said, “I went home every night to New Jersey—or most nights—and to help with the six-grade math homework or to make breakfast in the morning, just to make sure that that was there.” Her recent remarks about whether a mother should take a White House job, from that same interview, were the subject of much debate in political circles. She said at the time if she decided to take a White House job she would figure out how to see her kids and help them with their homework by “perhaps Skyping or Facetiming and showing how that’s done. There’s something to that. So we’ll figure all that out. But I’ve always felt like it was a very family-friendly workplace at the Trump campaign.”