An Ohio family said they learned just 20 minutes before dinner on Friday evening that a planned mystery guest would be the Facebook founder and billionaire Mark Zuckerberg.
“I knew we were having a mystery guest and that was about it,” Daniel Moore told a local newspaper, the Vindicator of Youngstown. “It was completely incredible.”
The Vindicator reported that Zuckerberg dined with the Moore family in Newton Falls, about 55 miles south-east of Cleveland. The newspaper said Zuckerberg had asked his staff to find Democrats who voted for Donald Trump.
Zuckerberg’s trek to Ohio is part of the Facebook founder’s plan to visit and meet people in all 50 states, part of a string of moves which has lead to widespread speculation about whether Zuckerberg intends to run for office himself.
He and his wife also recently pledged $3bn to “cure, prevent or manage” all disease by the end of the century.
Texts released last year as part of a class action suit showed that Zuckerberg had at least discussed the possibility of a run for office with funders such as venture capitalist Marc Andreessen.
On Christmas Day 2016, Zuckerberg said he no longer considers himself an atheist, a philosophical position which can be a problem for politicians.
His company has attempted to stay nonpartisan, through criticism of how its business model financially rewarded creators of “fake news” during the presidential campaign.
The Moore family said not all the chat at dinner was political, according to the Vindicator. Daniel Moore said he and his wife, Lisa, talked about their work with an orphanage in Uganda and that Zuckerberg said he was now planning a fundraiser to benefit the orphans.
“We got to know a very cool guy,” Moore said. “Just down-to-earth and real easy to talk to.”