Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke knows about loyalty and sticking with the team– he’s a former Navy SEAL commander with two Bronze Stars he can wear on his uniform. Zinke got behind Donald Trump’s campaign early (endorsing him in May) and never wavered, taking a speaking role at the Republican National Convention when Trump’s lack of military bona fides were seen by some as a potential weakness for the candidate.
[Check out Ryan Zinke’s book: American Commander: Serving a Country Worth Fighting For and Training the Brave Soldiers Who Lead the Way]
Zinke is now reportedly in line to be named Secretary of the Interior by the President-elect. It’s always a controversial position, as public lands are often at the heart of competing interests — targets for oil exploration and other commercial enterprises like cattle grazing. Zinke is popular in Montana, an iconic Western state with its wide open spaces. The congressman won 56 percent of the vote in his recent re-election bid. Zinke would seem to be an Interior choice that conservationists, if not conservatives, can get behind. He has said: “I have always been a strong supporter of public lands, and have voted against the transfer or sale of public lands. My position is known and well-established.”