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Mathew Pitsch

Mathew W. Pitsch, also known as Mat Pitsch (born 1963),[1][2] is a businessman in Fort Smith, Arkansas, who is a Republican member of the Arkansas House of Representatives for District 76 in a portion of Sebastian County in the western portion of his state.[3]

Mat Pitsch
Majority Leader of the Arkansas House of Representatives
Assumed office
January 9, 2017
Preceded byKen Bragg
Member of the Arkansas House of Representatives
from the 76th district
Assumed office
January 12, 2015
Preceded byDenny Altes
Personal details
Born (1963-08-19) August 19, 1963 (age 55)
Buffalo, Wyoming, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Seanna Fletchall
Children4
EducationHutchinson Community College
University of Missouri, Rolla (BS, MS)

In 2017, Pitsch was named Majority Leader of the Arkansas House. He succeeded fellow Republican Ken Bragg of Sheridan.

BackgroundEdit

Pitsch was born in Buffalo in Johnson County in northern Wyoming,[4] to Leland Alexander and Della Ann Skiles Pitsch (both born c. 1941).[5] He is listed in the Sheridan County Historical Index as a former resident of Sheridan, Wyoming, dates not specified.[6]

He was reared in several Midwestern communities in Nebraska and Kansas, where his father was a teacher and 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.[7]

Pitsch is chairman of the Bethel Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod denomination in Fort Smith.[3][7] His grandmother, Eunice "LeOra" Mathew Pitsch (1915–2006) of Sheridan, Wyoming, 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.[5]

CareerEdit

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.[4] 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.[7]

In 1987, Pitsch began nearly fifteen years of employment with the Whirlpool Corporation. He lived in many locations across the country, having settled in Fort Smith as the chief executive officer and president of McCourt Manufacturing Company.[7] 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.[2]

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.[4] Pitsch is also an adjunct professor at the private John Brown University in Siloam Springs in Benton County, Arkansas.[7] He 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.[3]

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 Arkansas State Senate. Altes prevailed, 1,626 votes (57 percent) to Pitsch's 1,225 (43 percent).[4] 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 ran without Democrat opposition in the general election held on November 4, 2014, when Republicans dominated the state races in Arkansas.[9]

Pitsch is assigned to 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.[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]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ 91st Arkansas General Assembly Legislative Directory
  2. ^ a b "Mathew W. Pitsch". intelius.com. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d "Mathew W. Pitsch". arkansashouse.org. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d "Mathew Pitsch". ballotpedia.org. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Eunice "LeOra" Pitsch obituary". Casper Star-Tribune. September 6, 2006. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  6. ^ "Sheridan County Heritage Index". rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  7. ^ a b c d e "Mathew W. Pitsch". ciclt.net. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  8. ^ "Mathew Pitsch's Biography". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  9. ^ "District 76". ballotpedia.org. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  10. ^ "HB 1489 – Reduces Unemployment Benefits – Key Vote". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved April 3, 2015.
Arkansas House of Representatives
Preceded by
Denny Altes
Member of the Arkansas House of Representatives
from the 76th district

2015–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Ken Bragg
Majority Leader of the Arkansas House of Representatives
2017–present