“I would not be where I am today in the Texas House of Representatives if it were not for the Leadership Institute’s training,” Texas State Representative Matt Krause said. “The Leadership Institute gave me the tools to succeed in the political world.”
The fourth-generation Texan grew up the son of a pastor, grandson of two pastors, and great-grandson of a pastor.
“Being in full-time ministry was a legacy in our family,” said Matt. “But, from an early age, my father helped me see I could have an impact in whatever field God called me to.”
In high school, Matt worked as a church’s custodian to pay for basketball camps and car insurance.
“This experience taught me hard work, discipline, and the importance of budgeting,” he said.
Matt’s basketball abilities attracted the coaching staff at Christian Heritage College (now San Diego Christian College) in California, and by the time he graduated Matt had earned a full scholarship for both his athletic and academic abilities.
Matt met his wife-to-be Jennie his freshman year of college and they married at the end of their junior year.
“As a college senior, I had to balance being a new husband to my beautiful wife, carry a full load of classes, serve as student body president, play basketball, and work 30 hours a week,” he remembered.
After graduation, the newlyweds moved to Lynchburg, Virginia, so Matt could study law at Liberty University. He graduated third in his class and opened Liberty Counsel’s Texas office in 2007, where he specializes in constitutional litigation.
“I got involved in politics because of Barack Obama’s election,” Matt said. “I now have three kids and a fourth on the way. I didn’t want to be the generation that didn’t leave a better country to my children and grandchildren than those who came before me.”
So, Matt decided he would run for office.
But first, he attended the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in 2009.
“At CPAC, I visited the Leadership Institute’s booth and was impressed with all they offered,” he said. “When I started my run for office, I signed up for LI’s Future Candidate School.”
He continued, “Attending the Leadership Institute’s Future Candidate School was instrumental in my political career. Up until that time, running for office seemed like a big mystery. But at LI, I learned the nuts and bolts of campaigning – from how to raise money, to how to dress appropriately, how to deal with the media, and even the best handshake to use when speaking with voters. It was an A-to-Z guide for candidates.”
In 2010, Matt ran his first campaign, hoping to win a seat in the Texas legislature.
“I ran against a well-known incumbent who heavily outspent me in that election. My campaign didn’t have enough money for a campaign manager. I lost, but with the tools I learned at the Leadership Institute, I garnered 42.5 percent of the vote which shocked a lot of folks – especially considering I served as my own campaign manager,” Matt said. “I would not have done so well if it had not been for the Leadership Institute’s training.”
The 2010 loss didn’t stop Matt.
“I learned that hard work, strategy, and lots of prayer can outperform money in an election,” he said. “I also learned what not to do during my first campaign.”
So in 2012 Matt ran again and won a three-way primary without a runoff vote. Later, he won the general election to become the state representative for Texas’ 93rd district.
Less than a year into his term, conservative groups already recognize Matt’s value in the Texas House. He is ranked the third most conservative member of the entire 150-member House and has been named one of the “Top Five House Courageous Conservatives” by the Texas Conservative Coalition. He has also received the second-highest score from the Young Conservatives of Texas’ scorecard, and he received perfect scores from Texans for Fiscal Responsibility and Texas Eagle Forum.
Matt also cares for youth and the future of America. As executive director of the Torch of Freedom Foundation, Matt works to shape the next generation of policymakers.
Torch of Freedom Foundation runs a Patriot Academy to train future leaders in the political process. During the academy, students act as governors and state representatives and debate bills on the actual legislative floor of state capitols.
“It's a perfect complement to what the Leadership Institute does,” Matt said. “If students want to apply all they have learned through trainings at the Leadership Institute, the Patriot Academy is the place to do so in a real-world legislative setting.”
The 33-year-old gave his life to Christ on Easter Sunday in 1987. Matt’s faith has shaped his life as an honest, responsible, and hard-working Christian conservative.
“I take comfort in the fact that God is the one who ‘raises up kings and removes them.’ Even when we have bad leaders, God uses us in the political process,” Matt said. “I encourage conservatives to patiently rely on the Lord, but not to be timid. As John Quincy Adams said, ‘Duty is ours. Results are God’s.’”
Duty is ours; register for Leadership Institute training here.
“The Leadership Institute gives you the tools to maneuver in the political world. No matter which area of politics you feel drawn to, the Leadership Institute has a training to help you succeed,” Matt said.
Please congratulate Matt Krause on his work to advance conservatism in the Texas legislature, and please applaud him for receiving the Leadership Institute’s Conservative Leader Award.
To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate or faculty member for the Conservative Leader Award or Conservative Leader-In-Training Award, please contact LI's Director of External Affairs Lauren Day, at Lauren@LeadershipInstitute.org.