Matt Schaefer has broad and unique experience in the private sector and in public service. His work ethic, family life, faith in God and commitment to country have all prepared him to be a strong conservative leader for East Texas. Matt is currently a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve and in 2010 he served in Afghanistan near the Iranian border with a Provincial Reconstruction Team. As a civilian, Matt is self-employed working on private business ventures in real estate, oil and gas, and legal transaction work. He also served as the director of Senator John Cornyn’s regional office in Tyler covering 35 counties.
Born and raised in Texas, Matt and his wife Jasilyn are proud to make their home in Tyler. After meeting in church and dating for several months, Matt proposed to Jasilyn at her favorite place in town, the Caldwell Zoo. They married at Green Acres Baptist Church and recently celebrated their 10-year anniversary. Jasilyn currently directs the Apache Belles of Tyler Junior College and serves as the Past-President of the Apache Belle Gold Alumni organization. Matt is a member of the Rose Capital Chapter of the Military Officers Association, and he and Jasilyn are both active members of Green Acres Baptist Church.
Growing up during hard financial times meant Matt learned to work at an early age. His first job was at 13, when he and his older brother, Sean, hoed weeds in peanut fields for minimum wage. Throughout high school, Matt worked mowing lawns, fixing fences, hauling hay, and sacking groceries. He played football at Cisco Junior College before heading to Texas Tech to earn a degree in Finance. While putting himself through college, Matt paid his living expenses by running his own window washing business, working at an iron foundry, and later working as a bank clerk.
After college, Matt was employed in Tyler by U.S. Senator Phil Gramm, where he spent a lot of time listening to citizens and gaining an understanding of the problems they face. Upon Sen. Gramm’s retirement, Matt joined the Navy Reserves while attending law school at Texas Tech, where he graduated with honors.
After law school, Matt’s professional life has included the following: serving as a military officer in Afghanistan and at CENTCOM in Tampa, Fla., running a small-town legal business where he helped clients with a variety of legal needs, purchasing real estate for investment, working for a small oil and gas company, and advising the chairman of the Texas Sunset Commission, where he worked on major bills dealing with the Texas Department of Insurance and the Texas Department of Transportation. Matt is eager to put his experience and knowledge to work for East Texans and is working hard to earn each vote.