Matthew Thomas "Matt" Shea (born April 18, 1974) is an American politician of the Republican Party. He is a member of the Washington House of Representatives, representing the 4th Legislative District.

Political career

First elected in 2008, he voted against the Washington State Gay marriage legislation in 2009. The legislation passed. In 2011, he joined a coalition of state legislators from various states opposing birthright citizenship. In 2012, Shea received the National Federation of Independent Business's Guardian of Small Business award for a 100% pro-small business voting record. He was reelected in 2012 with 56.7% of the vote.

Shea endorsed Ron Paul during the 2012 Republican presidential primaries.

Anti-government activities

In November 2011, Shea "pulled a gun during a confrontation with another what police reports describe as a road rage incident." The driver accused of road rage, by Shea and independent witnesses, stated in the police report that he "did not believe that the driver of the truck pointed a gun at him at any time." Additionally, the driver admitted that he "slammed on his brakes as the Ford Ranger was following him, in an attempt to cause a collision and potentially disable the truck." However, Shea was found to have let his concealed weapons permit expire "years ago". Although cited by Spokane Police for carrying a loaded firearm in his vehicle without a permit and for displaying the firearm in a manner to alarm others, he was charged in court with a single count of having a loaded pistol in his vehicle without a valid permit, resulting in the city agreeing to a stipulated order of continuance.

Shea is a founding member of COWS, Coalition of Western States, which is concerned with government overreach and which now claims to have over 50 legislative members. He founded it along with several other local politicians as part of a visit to the Bundy ranch, related to the Bundy standoff and later to the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

Shea has also been the focus of news articles related to angry outbursts at his legislative office and a report that he was disarmed by a commander while he served in Iraq due to anger management issues.

Although Shea has been subject to numerous controversies, his district is strongly conservative, and he manages to win by margins in excess of eight points every election cycle, despite a strong attempt to unseat him in 2012 by CPA Amy Biviano, a Democrat, who was able to garner some Republican support. She ended up losing by 13%.