Mathew Pitsch

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Mathew Wade Pitsch


Arkansas State Senator
for District 8 (Sebastian County)
Incumbent
Assumed office 
January 1, 2019
Preceded by Frank Glidewell

Arkansas State Representative
for District 76 (Sebastian County)
In office
January 12, 2015 – December 31, 2018
Preceded by Denny Altes
Succeeded by Cindy Crawford

Majority Leader of the
Arkansas House of Representatives
In office
January 1, 2017 – December 31, 2018
Preceded by Ken Bragg
Succeeded by Austin McCollum

Born August 19, 1963
Buffalo, Johnson County
Wyoming, USA
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Seanna Fletchall Pitsch
Children Two sons and two daughters

Parents:
Leland Alexander and Della Ann Skiles Pitsch

Residence Fort Smith, USA
Alma mater Hutchinson (Kansas) Community College

Missouri University of Science and Technology

Occupation Electrical engineer

Educator and university dean
Businessman

Religion Lutheran (Missouri Synod)

Mathew Wade Pitsch, also known as Mat Pitsch (born August 19, 1963),[1] is a businessman in Fort Smith, Arkansas, who has been since 2019 a Republican state senator for District 8 in Sebastian County in the western part of his state. Formerly, he was the state representative for District 76 in a portion of Sebastian County.[2]

Background

Pitsch was born in Buffalo in Johnson County in northern Wyoming,[3] to Leland Alexander and Della Ann Skiles Pitsch (both born c. 1941).[4] He is listed in the Sheridan County Historical Index as a former resident of Sheridan, Wyoming, dates not specified. He was reared in several communities in Nebraska and Kansas, where his father was a teacher and a coach of various sports. In 1983, he received an Associate of Arts in Engineering from Hutchinson Community College in Hutchinson, Kansas, at which in 1982 he was the captain of the Hutchinson Blue Dragons football team.[5]

Pitsch is chairman of the Bethel Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, a Christian denomination in Fort Smith.[2][5] His paternal grandmother, Eunice "LeOra" Mathew Pitsch (1915–2006) of Sheridan, the wife of his grandfather, Alexander Pitsch, became in 1969 the founding president of the Wyoming District of the Lutheran Women's Missionary League. An active member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Sheridan, she conducted devotional services at the Sheridan Manor nursing facility for more than fourteen years prior to her death.[4]

Career

Pitsch obtained Bachelor of Science (1985) and a Master of Science (1986) degrees in electrical engineering from the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, Missouri.[6] Pitsch also played football for the Missouri S&T Miners and is an inductee of the Athletic Hall of Fame and the Engineering Academy at his alma mater.[5]

In 1987, Pitsch began nearly fifteen years of employment with the Whirlpool Corporation. He lived in many locations across the country. He settled in Fort Smith as the chief executive officer and president of McCourt Manufacturing Company.[5] He has lived in more than a dozen cities, including Sherwood and Paragould, Arkansas; Baltimore, Maryland; Marietta and Kennesaw, and Jasper, Georgia; Beloit and Sylvan Grove, Kansas; and St. Charles, Missouri.[7]

After he sold his interest in the McCourt Company, Pitsch in 2001 joined the faculty and became the dean of the College of Applied Science and Technology at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith, formerly Westark Community College. In 2007, he became an economic development specialist for the Greater Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce. In 2009, he was invited to direct the Regional Intermodal Transportation Authority (RITA) of Western Arkansas, which encompasses Fort Smith and Van Buren in Crawford County.[6] Pitsch is also an adjunct professor at the private John Brown University in Siloam Springs in Benton County, Arkansas.[5] Pitsch is a member of the boards of the United Way, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, and the Arkansas/Oklahoma State Fair and Rodeo, held each September at Kay Rodgers Park in Fort Smith.[2]

In 2012, Pitsch ran unsuccessfully for the District 76 seat in the Arkansas House[8] against fellow Republican Denny Altes, a former member of the state Senate. Altes prevailed, 1,626 votes (57 percent) to Pitsch's 1,225 (43 percent).[6] Altes did not seek reelection in 2014, and Pitsch ran again, this time against Altes's son, Bobby Altes, also of Fort Smith. Pitsch prevailed, 1,715 votes (53.3 percent) to Bobby Altes's 1,503 (46.7 percent). Pitsch then ran without Democrat opposition in the November 4 general election, when Republicans dominated the state races in Arkansas that year.[9]

Pitsch served on the House committees on: (1) Joint Advanced Communication Information Technology, (2) Agriculture and Economic Development, and (3) Public Transportation. He is the chairman of the House Small Business and Economic Development Permanent Subcommittee and vice-chairman of the Arkansas Sportsman's Caucus.[2] He was the House Majority Leader in his second term in the chamber from 2017 to 2018.[3] In February 2015, Pitsch joined dozens of his fellow Republicans and two Democrats in co-sponsoring legislation submitted by Representative Lane Jean of Magnolia, to reduce unemployment compensation benefits. The measure was promptly signed into law by Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson.[10]

References

  1. Mathew Pitsch. Mylife.com. Retrieved on October 20, 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Mathew W. Pitsch. arkansashouse.org. Retrieved on April 9, 2015; material no longer accessible on-line.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Mathew Pitsch. ballotpedia.org. Retrieved on October 20, 2020.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Eunice "LeOra" Pitsch obituary. The Casper Star-Tribune (September 6, 2006). Retrieved on October 20, 2020.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Mathew W. Pitsch. ciclt.net. Retrieved on April 10, 2015; material no longer accessible on-line.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Mathew Pitsch. ballotpedia.org. Retrieved on October 20, 2020.
  7. Mathew Pitsch. intelius.com. Retrieved on October 20, 2020.
  8. Mathew Pitsch's Biography. Project Vote Smart. Retrieved on October 20, 2020.
  9. District 76. ballotpedia.org. Retrieved on October 20, 2020.
  10. HB 1489 – Reduces Unemployment Benefits – Key Vote. Project Vote Smart. Retrieved on October 20, 2020.