Republican Daniel Matthews has announced his candidacy for the Oklahoma State House of Representatives, District 28. The district covers northern Pottawatomie and Seminole counties. Current State Representative Tom Newell is leaving office to take a job out-of-state, and the seat will be filled in a 2017 Special Election.

“I love my family and come from a long line of people who have served others. From Navy ships and the mission field, to the classroom and soup kitchens, we have always been about caring for others and serving our nation, state and community,” Matthews said. “I will take this commitment to service and my strong conservative values to the Capitol.”

“I understand the challenges our families, businesses and everyday citizens face throughout small town Oklahoma. I will a leader for more jobs, stronger schools, and safer communities,” Matthews said.

Matthews is 36 years old and serves as Associate Pastor at Family of Faith Church in Shawnee. He has worked in virtually every area of the church, including Youth and Senior Citizens ministries. Matthews has also done missionary work in over 30 countries.

Matthews is the founder and Executive Director of the Community Market of Pottawatomie County. The Community Market started as a food ministry at Matthews’ church serving local families in need. Today, it employs eight people and helps thousands of families across Pottawatomie, Seminole, and Lincoln counties.

The Community Market is a resource center that is passionate about creating an environment for people to leave poverty. “I believe strongly in the adage that if you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. But if you teach a man to fish for himself, you have fed him for a lifetime,” Matthews said. “Bigger government is not the answer to our problems. The solutions lie in private businesses, churches and nonprofits like ours reaching out to meet the needs of local communities,” Matthews said.

Matthews has a heart for young people, having coached high school basketball for 10 years. He now serves as a referee with the Oklahoma Secondary School Athletic Association.

Matthews grew up in rural Pottawatomie County and still lives there today, north of the Shawnee Mall.

Daniel and his wife, Yasha, who grew up in Chandler, have been married 17 years. They have four children, son Kalen (14), twin daughters, Ashlyn and Lani (10) and daughter Maci (5).

Daniel and Yasha are graduates of Family of Faith Christian University. Tasha also holds an MBA from Oklahoma Christian University and now works as a Vice President with Bank of Oklahoma Financial in Oklahoma City.

Both of Matthews’ parents graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University. His father is a longtime local pastor, and his mother is a local educator. Matthews’ grandfather served in the United States Navy and later served as a pastor in rural Lincoln County.

Matthews said he will stand for conservative values in the state House.

“I am an ‘across-the-board’ conservative who supports limited government, the right to life, Second Amendment rights, lower taxes and the business-friendly policies that create jobs,” Matthews said.

“I am excited to get my campaign started, meet the voters of our district and share my ideas for a stronger Oklahoma.”