House Speaker Mike Johnson has been married to his wife Kelly Johnson since 1999
During his acceptance speech on Oct. 25, Johnson thanked his wife of over two decades, Kelly, who was at home in Louisiana.
“I want to thank my dedicated wife of almost 25 years, Kelly,” he said. “She’s not here, we couldn’t get a flight in time. This happened sort of suddenly.”
“She’s spent the last couple of weeks on her knees in prayer to the Lord. And, um, she’s a little worn out,” Johnson joked. “We all are.”
Johnson, a far-right Louisiana congressman, was first elected to the House in 2016 and his tenure has been characterized by opposing abortion and LGBTQ+ rights.
He married his wife in 1999 and the couple share four children: Hannah, Abigail, Jack and Will. They often post about their kids' lives and passions on Facebook. Johnson has also previously spoken about his and Kelly’s “covenant marriage,” a stricter marriage arrangement that is only legal in three states.
So who is Mike Johnson’s wife? Here’s everything to know about Kelly Johnson and her relationship with the House Speaker.
She went to Louisiana Tech University
Kelly received her degree in elementary education from Louisiana Tech University and became a certified teacher. She went on to teach elementary and secondary education in private and public schools throughout the state.
Her daughter, Abigail, followed in her footsteps, also attending Louisiana Tech University.
She is a licensed pastoral counselor
After a career as a teacher, Kelly pivoted to working as a pastoral counselor at Onward Christian Counseling Services, where she serves as founder and president. The practice provides religious-based individual, marriage and family counseling to people across Louisiana.
Since 2018, Kelly also served as a director and advisor to the Louisiana Right to Life organization.
Johnson told her he loved her shortly after they met
The two met when Johnson was still pursuing his law degree at Louisiana State University, where he graduated in 1998. He later shared in a birthday tribute to Kelly in October 2023 that he admitted his feelings to her just three weeks after they first met.
“I told Kelly I loved her about three weeks after we met(!), and I really did,” he wrote on Facebook. “But I couldn’t have known then how that early infatuation would mature over the years into the deep, soulful appreciation I now have for everything about this amazing woman who has birthed our children, stood by my side in triumph and defeat, and become even more beautiful to me with each passing day.”
They wed in 1999
Johnson and Kelly tied the knot in a covenant marriage on May 1, 1999.
They celebrated 24 years of marriage in 2023, with Johnson sharing a Franz Schubert quote on Facebook to mark the occasion: "Happy is the man who finds a true friend, and far happier is he who finds that true friend in his wife."
She and Johnson are in a covenant marriage
Johnson and Kelly have publicly spoken about their covenant marriage, a stricter type of marriage that prevents couples from divorcing until at least two years after their wedding and only under certain circumstances. Covenant marriages are also only legal in three states, including Louisiana.
During a 2001 interview with Diane Sawyer on Good Morning America, the Johnsons elaborated on their decision, with Kelly saying, “From a woman’s perspective, I’ve been in some bad relationships before, and I just knew that when I met the man that I was supposed to marry, I wanted to know it was for a lifetime. ... It gives me such peace and security.”
While speaking to ABC in 2005, Johnson shared that part of his reasoning for wanting a covenant marriage was inspired by his own struggle with his parents’ divorce.
"My wife and I both come from traditional Christian households," Johnson told the outlet. "My own parents are divorced. As anyone who goes through that knows, that was a traumatic thing for our whole family. I'm a big proponent of marriage and fidelity and all the things that go with it, and I've seen firsthand the devastation [divorce] can cause."
Kelly agreed, adding that Johnson's willingness to enter a covenant marriage showed her that he “wants it to be forever.”
"I think that it would be a pretty big red flag if you asked your mate or your fiancé, 'Let's do a covenant marriage,' and they said they don't really want to do that," Kelly added.
They have four children together
The couple have two daughters, Hannah and Abigail, and two sons, Jack and Will.
Hannah graduated from Louisiana State University in 2022 and is currently a law student, while Abigail is finishing her undergraduate degree and plans to attend law school as well.
“Kelly and I are so proud of our kids,” Johnson wrote in a June 2023 Facebook post. “They each make a lot of sacrifices for us to do this job, but they never complain. They just keep smiling, working hard, and by God’s grace, thriving in all they do.”
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