Today’s Dream Team Scouting Report: @RyanZinke, #SecretaryOfTheInterior #TrumpPresidente

Born November 1, 1961
Bozeman, Montana, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Lolita Hand
Children 3
Alma mater University of Oregon (BS)
National University (MBA)
University of San Diego (MS)

Born in Bozeman, Montana and raised in Whitefish, Zinke is the son of Jean Montana (Harlow) Petersen and Ray Dale Zinke, a plumber. He was a star athlete at Whitefish High School and accepted a football scholarship to the University of Oregon in Eugene; recruited as an outside linebacker, he switched to offense and was an undersized starting center for the Ducks of the Pac-10 under head coach Rich Brooks.

A student-athlete, Zinke earned a B.S. in geology in 1984. Zinke later earned an M.B.A. from National University in 1991 and an M.S. in global leadership from the University of San Diego in 2003.

Military career .

  • Zinke served as a U.S. Navy SEAL from 1986 to 2008, retiring at the rank of Commander.
  • Zinke graduated from Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training class 136 in 1986.
  • Served with SEAL TEAM ONE from 1986 to 1988.
  • First Phase Officer of BUD/S
  • United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group (NSWDG) from 1991 to 1993.
  • Served as a Plans officer for Commander in Chief, U.S. Naval Forces, Europe (CINCUSNAVEUR) and served a second tour with NSWDG as team leader and operations officer from 1996 to 1999.
  • From 1999 to 2001, served as executive officer (XO) for the Naval Special Warfare Unit Two.
  • His next assignment was as executive officer, Naval Special Warfare Center from 2001 to 2004.
  • In 2004, Zinke was named the deputy and acting commander of Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force–Arabian Peninsula. In this capacity, Zinke led a force of more than 3,500 Special Operations personnel in Iraq.
  • Zinke was awarded two Bronze Stars for meritorious service in a combat zone.
  • 4 Meritorious Service Medals
  • 2 Joint Service Commendation Medals
  • 2 Defense Meritorious Service Medals, and
  • an Army Commendation Medal.
  • Following his tours in Iraq, Zinke was selected to establish the Naval Special Warfare Advanced Training Command, where he served as “Dean” of the Naval Special Warfare graduate school until his retirement from active duty in 2008.

Political career

Montana Senate 

  • Zinke was elected to the Montana Senate in 2008, serving from 2009 to 2011, representing Whitefish.
  • In 2010, Zinke signed a letter calling global warming “a threat multiplier for instability in the most volatile regions of the world” and stating that “the clean energy and climate challenge is America’s new space race.” The letter spoke of “catastrophic” costs and “unprecedented economic consequences” that would result from failing to act on climate change and asked President Obama and Nancy Pelosi (then-Speaker of the House) to champion sweeping clean-energy and climate legislation.

2014 House election 

In the spring of 2014, Zinke announced that he was running for Montana’s congressional district, a seat that became vacant when its -incumbent Republican Steve Daines resigned in his successful U.S. Senate bid to replace outgoing Democratic U.S. Senator Max Baucus. Zinke won the five-way Republican primary and faced Libertarian Mike Fellows and Democrat John Lewis, a former State Director for Senator Baucus, in the general election. He won the general election with 56% of the vote out of over 200,000 votes cast in the statewide district.

During the Republican primary, Zinke attracted attention for referring to Hillary Rodham Clinton as “the real enemy” and the “anti-Christ.” An issue that was raised in the primary race was abortion; Zinke touted his anti-abortion credentials and received the endorsement of the Montana Right to Life Association.

Tenure in the House, 2015-2016 

In Congress, Zinke has supported the deployment of U.S. ground troops to combat ISIL, “abandoning” ObamaCare, and cutting regulations. He supported a Republican effort to repeal the estate tax.

Zinke “frequently voted against environmentalists on issues ranging from coal extraction to oil and gas drilling”. Nevertheless, Zinke broke with most Republicans on the issue of transfers of federal lands to the states, calling such proposals “extreme” and voting against them. In July 2016, Zinke withdrew as a delegate to the Republican nominating convention in protest of a plank in the party’s draft platform which would require that “certain” public lands be transferred to state control. Zinke said that he endorses “better management of federal land” rather than transfer.

Zinke condemned the “anti-Semitic views” held by neo-Nazis planning a march in support of Richard B. Spencer in Whitefish, Montana in January 2017.

Committee assignments

  • Committee on Armed Services
  • Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces
  • Subcommittee on Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities
  • Committee on Natural Resources
  • Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources

2016 House election 

Zinke ran unopposed in the Republican primary and faced Democratic Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau in the general election. Zinke defeated Juneau with 56% of the vote.

Zinke was named as President-elect Trump’s planned nominee for United States Secretary of the Interior on December 13, 2016.













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