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Rep. Dan Newhouse with his fiancée, Joan Galvin

U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse has a fiancee.

“I wish you could see my face — it’s all smiles,” the 4th District Republican lawmaker said Thursday after “going public” about his engagement to Joan Galvin.

Galvin lives in Washington, D.C., and works at Kelly, Drye and Warren LLP in government relations, securing federal funding for clients.

Newhouse, a Sunnyside farmer, met Galvin through his late wife and daughter, who met her at a Ringling Bros. Circus performance and connected over a love for elephants.

According to Galvin’s biography on the law firm’s website, she formerly worked as vice president for government relations at Feld Entertainment Inc., the parent company to Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey. As a part of that role, she spearheaded the company’s efforts to develop conservation programs on behalf of the Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation.

Newhouse said that because of Galvin’s work in government relations, he met with the House of Representatives Committee on Ethics, as well as an ethics attorney, to take any precautions necessary.

“We just wanted to make sure everything was legitimate,” he said. “And this is truly a relationship of devotion to each other, and I wanted to share it with the people of Central Washington and express how happy I am about that.”

Newhouse said the couple are planning to marry in the next few months but that a date has not been set.

“I had a wonderful marriage with Carol,” he said. “I can’t believe my good fortune to be able to find someone else that is truly an amazing person to spend my life with. I do feel very blessed in this. Having found that twice is pretty special.”

Dan and Carol Newhouse were married for almost 35 years. Carol Newhouse had battled cancer for several years before her death last year.

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