Matthew Ridenhour For County Commissioner 2016

Born at Presbyterian Hospital, Matthew grew up in South Charlotte, in the SouthPark area. He graduated from Charlotte Christian School, where he played football and ran track. Matthew was involved in numerous clubs, including the chess, drama, and Spanish clubs. Matthew also joined the Boy Scouts as a charter member of Troop 7 at Calvary Church. He joined at the age of 16, and earned his Eagle Scout just before turning 18.

Matthew went on to school at Virginia Tech as an accounting major, and was a member of the Corps of Cadets. He went on to transfer to AIU in Atlanta. While in school, Matthew felt an urging to satisfy a long-felt longing to join the military, and joined the US Marine Corps Reserve in the summer of 2001. He attended boot camp at Parris Island, SC, and afterwards joined his unit at Ammunition Company, Greenville, SC. Matthew graduated from school in Atlanta, and then volunteered for his first deployment to Iraq in January of 2005. In the Al-Anbar province he worked as a member of a Provisional Rifle Company, spending his time walking the streets looking for IEDs, standing post on the perimeter of the base, and conducting vehicle searches for contraband and weapons.

He returned home in October of 2005, and was then promoted to Sergeant. Matthew remained on active duty for another three months coordinating the Upstate South Carolina Toys for Tots campaign. Matthew was instrumental in making this campaign a success, coordinating with the media, managing a team of volunteers, and ultimately collecting over 15,000 toys for underprivileged children.

In 2007 Matthew once again volunteered to deploy to Iraq, this time with a Military Police company. The unit was tasked with providing convoy security on missions throughout the Al-Anbar province. Matthew wore a number of hats while deployed, including Training Chief, Vehicles and Equipment Manager, and Ammunition Chief. Upon his return, he was promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant, and he served as his unit’s Company Gunnery Sergeant.

In 2009 and 2010 Matthew was a key organizer of the local tea party movement, advocating for fiscal conservatism, free market economics, and limited government. Matthew was also a candidate for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Man of the Year campaign in 2010, and raised thousands of dollars for that organization. In 2012 Matthew was elected to the Mecklenburg County Board of County Commissioners for District 5, representing neighborhoods such as Myers Park, Eastover, Cotswold, Landsdowne, Beverly Woods, Cameron Wood, Starmount, and Madison Park. Matthew led the successful, across party lines, vote to protect the 2nd amendment rights of citizens on county property, and has been a consistent, pragmatic voice for fiscal conservatism and the proper role of government. In 2013 Matthew was appointed Chair of the Economic Development Committee. Recently, Matthew was named a member of the Charlotte Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 for 2014.

In his free time, Matthew enjoys working on his 1973 Ford Bronco, snowboarding, and participating in triathlons. Matthew is married to his long-time sweetheart, Abby, and they currently reside in Huntingtowne Farms with their daughter and two dachshunds, Badgely and Marlowe. Abby is Matthew’s best friend, confidant, and rock, and she deserves his eternal love and devotion for dealing with his ENFP personality. Matthew and Abby are members of Sharon Presbyterian Church.