Matthew Britt turned 21 today.While most college students his age would be excited because they could now legally imbibe alcoholic beverages, Britt is excited because he’s now legally old enough to run for a seat in the Texas legislature.
The 2010 Decatur High School graduate and current University of North Texas student is running for state representative for District 61, which covers Wise and Parker counties.
The Green Party candidate is the only challenger to longtime Republican incumbent Phil King, 56, of Weatherford.
Britt acknowledges the challenges facing him in this election, but the question was never if the lifelong resident of Decatur would run, but when.
“I always thought he would run for an office,” said his mom Julie Britt, a sixth-grade teacher at Decatur Intermediate School.
“We always used to call him the little politician,” said his dad, Buck Britt. “If he sees someone being oppressed or censored, he would always step in and try to find a way to help them. He’s always been for the underdog.”
Now Britt finds himself the underdog in the upcoming November election.
King has served in the Texas House of Representatives since winning his first election in 1998. He’s run unopposed in multiple elections since then and has crushed the Democratic and Libertarian candidates who have opposed him.
“He’s from Parker County where they have the majority of the population in this district,” Julie said. “He also has his age and more financial backing.”
Despite the David versus Goliath matchup, Britt’s parents remain supportive and know he could do a good job, despite his youth, in the Texas legislature.
“A lot of people lose sight when they get elected,” Buck said. “They forget the people they are representing. The people there want you to go along with the crowd.
“If they are looking for someone to follow the crowd and just go along without asking questions, that’s not Matthew at all. He’s going to do what is right.”
Julie said there is something special about the Decatur Class of 2010.
“There was a whole group he graduated with that are all out there doing something they believe in. They asked themselves the question, ‘If you’re not here to make the world a better place, why are you here?’
“They are here to put their mark on the world.”
If he were to win the election, Matthew would put his mark by becoming the youngest person ever elected to Texas House of Representatives. The youngest to ever serve in the Texas House was 24-year-old Patrick Rose, a Democrat, who won District 45 in 2002. He won three more times before a narrow defeat in 2010.