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For Immediate Release

March 7, 2024

Contact: Taylor Haulsee


WASHINGTON, D.C. — Speaker Mike Johnson today announced his slate of guests that will be attending tonight’s State of the Union Address. From angel and Gold Star families to women’s sports advocates, to NYPD officers on the front lines of the crime crisis, the Speaker’s guests represent a broad cross-section of America.

“There will be a wide chasm between the picture of America President Biden attempts to paint tonight and the reality our country is facing. Three years of his administration’s failed policies have opened our borders, jeopardized our safety, reduced our standard of living, and weakened our standing on the world stage,” Speaker Johnson said. “I am honored to host these special guests and spotlight their personal stories. While America’s state of the union is sadly in decline, these individuals remind us of America’s greatness, even in the face of such challenging circumstances.”


Below is a list of Speaker Johnson’s guests:

Ella Milman and Mikhail Gershkovich: Ella Milman and Mikhail Gershkovich are the parents of Evan Gershkovich – the Wall Street Journal reporter currently imprisoned in Russia for simply doing his job as a journalist.

NYPD Lieutenant Ben Kurian & Officer Zunxu Tian (Jointly Hosted with Representatives D’Esposito and Malliotakis): Lieutenant Ben Kurian and Officer Zunxu Tian are members of the New York City Police Department who were attacked in January by a mob of illegal immigrants in Times Square. The immigrants were allowed into New York City because of its status as a sanctuary city.

Darin Hoover and Alicia Lopez: Darin Hoover is the father Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Darin “Taylor” Hoover. Alicia Lopez is the mother of Marine Corps Corporal Hunter Lopez. Staff Sgt. Hoover and Cpl. Lopez were killed in the attack at Hamid Karzai International Airport’s Abbey Gate in August 2021, during President Biden’s botched withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.

Orna and Daniel Neutra (Jointly Hosted with Representative Lawler): Orna and Daniel Neutra are the mother and son of Omer Neutra – an American citizen serving in the Israeli Defense Forces who was taken hostage by Hamas on October 7th. They continue to plead for his safe return.

Mia Schem: Mia Schem is a French-Israeli citizen who was attacked and kidnapped by Hamas on October 7th while attending a music festival. She was held captive for 54 days in Gaza where she was taunted, starved and tortured. Mia was released in December.

Kristina Gill: Kristina Gill is the wife of Mike Gill, a former Trump Administration official and D.C. resident who was recently killed after a carjacking in our nation’s capital.

Riley Gaines: Riley Gaines is a former University of Kentucky swimmer who has become one of America’s leading advocates for women’s single-sex spaces, fairness in sports, and women’s privacy, safety, and equal opportunity.

Janet Durig: Janet Durig is the executive director of the Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center, a center that offers help and support to women, men and their families who are in a crisis pregnancy. Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center was one of the hundreds of pro-life centers or churches targeted and vandalized in 2022.

Tammy Nobles: Tammy Nobles is an angel mother and the mother of Kayla Hamilton, a 20-year-old young adult with autism who was brutally murdered by an MS-13 gang member. Kayla’s killer entered the U.S. illegally and was previously arrested for gang activity, and Tammy is suing the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Health and Human Services for allowing this criminal into the country.

Stefanie Turner: Stefanie Turner is the mother of Tucker Roe, a 19 year-old who died of fentanyl poisoning. After Tucker’s tragic passing, Stefanie launched Texas Against Fentanyl – an advocacy organization aimed at preventing others from suffering the deadly effects of this dangerous drug that has devastated every single American community.

Ketsia, Miriam, and Caleb Corbett (Jointly Hosted with Representative Tenney): Ketsia, Miriam and Caleb Corbett are the children of Ryan Corbett, an American who has been held hostage by the Taliban since August 2022. The Taliban took control of Afghanistan following President Biden’s botched withdrawal of troops in August 2021. The Corbett family continue to plead for Ryan’s safe return.

Talia Khan: Talia Khan is a Jewish MIT graduate student in mechanical engineering who spoke out in the fall of 2023 about rising antisemitism on college campuses. Talia is a member of the MIT Israel Alliance and was involved in sending an open letter to MIT faculty criticizing their response to campus threats against Jewish students.

Chloe Cole: Driven by her own experiences of harmful ideologies and medical interventions, Chloe — an 18-year-old from California — sheds light on the distressing consequences of “gender-affirming care” for adolescents. Having embarked on her own transition journey at the age of 12, Chloe speaks with firsthand authority on the deeply traumatic effects experienced by minors undergoing such treatments.

Enes Freedom: Enes Freedom is an 11-year NBA veteran who, after criticizing the Turkish government, was made a political pariah and had a bounty placed on him by the government. He is a leading critic of human rights abuses across the globe and has publicly called on the NBA to abandon its deepening ties with China and the Chinese Communist Party.

Dr. Wayne D. Lewis, Jr.: Dr. Wayne Lewis is the president of Houghton University in Houghton, New York and the former Commissioner of Education for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. President Lewis recently spoke out against the inclusion of biological male in women’s athletics.

Jonathan Wheelis: Jonathan Wheelis is an employee with Chesapeake Energy’s Haynesville asset in North Louisiana. Jonathan began at Chesapeake in 2011 as an engineer and worked his way up to operations manager, where he oversees more than 1,000 wells, multiple field offices, and dozens of employees.

Pastor John Fream: John Fream is the Pastor of Cypress Baptist Church in Benton, Louisiana, Speaker Johnson’s home church.