Battleground 2020Elections 2020State HouseEXCLUSIVE: Former State Representative Matt Rinaldi Will Not Run For His Old Seat

In a strong election year for Texas Democrats, State Rep. Matt Rinaldi lost his bid for reelection in 2018. He will not run for the seat in 2020.
July 17, 2019

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This week, former state Representative Matt Rinaldi (R-Irving) told The Texan he would not run again for his former seat.

In a statement provided to The Texan, Rinaldi said, “It was an incredible honor to serve the people of Northwest Dallas County for four years. Together, we banned sanctuary cities, passed pro-life legislation, cut per capita government spending, legalized volunteer church security teams, and fought government overreach.”

Rinaldi, considered a favorite of the Texas conservative grassroots, ranked as the second most conservative state house member out of 150 according to Rice University’s rankings in 2017.

In 2018, Rinaldi lost his reelection bid to Rep. Julie Johnson (D-Carrollton) and was one of five Republican state representatives who lost their seats to Democrats in Dallas County.

Dallas County now only boasts two Republican state representatives in Reps. Angie Chen Button (R-Richardson) and Morgan Meyer (R-Dallas). 

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Johnson ranked as the 25th most liberal Democrat and was awarded “Freshman of the Year” by the newly formed Texas House LGBTQ Caucus.

Drawing contrasts between his record and the record of his successor, Rinaldi stated that Johnson “supported legislation legalizing abortion until birth, opposed the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, voted to drastically increase the size and scope of government and pushed extremist, anti-Christian legislation that bans religious counseling and punishes religious speech.”

In a statement posted to Facebook, Johnson announced she would run for reelection and celebrated “bringing home kitchen table victories” after the 86th legislative session.

“The experience from my first session was incredible and left me eager to come back and do more. I want to continue the fight for our communities in Austin, so I am thrilled to announce that I am running for re-election to House District 115!”

Johnson went on to acknowledge rumors of potential challengers and the emphasis placed on redistricting going into the election cycle.

“There are rumblings of opponents challenging me in 2020. But I’m not scared because I’ve run a hard-fought race before, and I know what I need to do to win again. Redistricting is on the table next session – it’s absolutely vital that we keep District 115 in the Democratic column.”

Rinaldi didn’t rule out running for office in the future, stating, “Though I hope to serve the people again, I will not be running for office in 2020 so I can devote more time to my family and focus on raising my 22-month-old son.”

He did affirm that he would be involved in finding a candidate to run against Johnson.

“District 115, however, deserves conservative leadership—not the left-wing extremism it got from its representative this session. To this end, I am working with Chairman Anderson to find a strong Republican candidate to challenge Rep. Johnson in 2020.”

In 2018, Rinaldi received 43.2 percent of the vote and Johnson received 56.8 percent.


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McKenzie DiLullo

McKenzie DiLullo serves as Senior Editor and resident plate-spinner for The Texan. Previously, she worked as State Representative Kyle Biedermann’s Capitol Director during the 85th legislative session before moving to Fort Worth to manage Senator Konni Burton’s campaign. In her free time, you might find her enjoying dog memes, staring at mountains, or proctoring personality tests.