Who am I?

I'm a Lane County native and a lifelong Democrat who has worked as a blacksmith, ranch hand, educator, community advocate and small business entrepreneur.

I earned a Bachelor of Arts in environmental planning and a Master of Architecture degree before teaching at the University of Oregon and launching a successful online publishing firm.

I live with my sweetheart Patty with four horses and four dogs on 20-acre Swan Farm in Dexter, Oregon, at the geographic center of the beautiful and vast East Lane County district.

As the son of a social worker and a physicist, I've learned to bring both the human and the technical perspectives to problem solving. Passion for collaborative problem solving and progressive-minded solutions has lead to a host of volunteer and pro bono community advocate roles revolving around environmental protection and social justice.

Here is a brief overview of my volunteer work with local conservation organizations, city, county, and various non-profit boards:

President, Friends of Eugene (2007-2013)
Non-profit land use, transportation, and environemental watchdog group

President, Southeast Neighbors (2000-2013)
City-recognized neighborhood association representing 13,000 residents

Environmental Planning and Policy Consultant
Lane County (2009-2010)

Environmental Planning Analyst on Climate Change
West Eugene Collaborative (2007-2009)

Chair, Mayor's Committee on Amazon Headwaters, and Planning Policy Advisor
City of Eugene (2007-2012)

Project Development Advisor
Willamette Resources and Education Network (2008-2010)

Why am I running?

I am running to build rural prosperity and preserve our precious natural resources. As commissioner, I will fight for more responsible forest practices, to protect our clean water, and to build family-wage jobs in our rural communities.

On the doorstep, at our campaign's morning coffee conversations, and on the phones, I hear every day from fellow Lane County voters, "It's time for a change."

My opponent, three-term Republican incumbent and timber and mining heir Faye Stewart, has represented Big Timber rather more faithfully than Lane County residents. Faye Stewart's record: giving big corporate tax breaks, cutting vital services, gerrymandering the district, driving poor land use decisions, and blocking even the most basic climate change planning!

Meanwhile, too many Lane County residents struggle to make ends meet. Working together, we can do better!

This May, Lane County voters are faced with a clear choice: more of the same, business-as-usual Faye Stewart "crony capitalism" politics, or a dose of healthy grassroots common sense from Kevin Matthews.

Livability, economic vitality, honesty, integrity, safety, and security are on the minds of Lane County voters. It's time to put an end to Faye Stewart's Big Timber cronyism and put Lane County on track to build real opportunities for our working families.

My Goals

• To build transparency, open up the complex $500 million Lane County budget so that regular voters can clearly see where money comes in, and where money goes out.

• To build prosperity, keep hundreds of millions of dollars in local Lane County communities over five to seven years through constructive programs to save 10% of our current fossil fuel use, and to increase the local grown share of our food consumption from 5% to 15%.

• To build community, initiate a large collaborative conversation about the future of extractive natural resource industries in Lane County, involving a full spectrum of interests, and leveraging common love of our special place to build and implement a consensus vision of a truly sustainable, twenty-first century timber industry that we can all be proud of.

My DFA Values

Community, security, and liberty at are the center of Kevin's campaign. (Please see above.)

Additionally, Kevin Matthews has recently received the endorsements of the Lane County Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, the Sierra Club, Many Rivers Group and the Oregon League of Conservation Voters (OLCV). The support of these groups illustrates the wide breadth of appeal to Kevin's grassroots, common sense campaign.

The Lane County Labor Council, AFL-CIO, the Sierra Club, Many Rivers Group and OLCV join Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy, former Lane County Commissioner Jerry Rust and the Cottage Grove Blackberry Pie Society in supporting Kevin's people-powered campaign to defeat 3-term Republican incumbent Faye Stewart this May.

Kevin Matthews has already connected directly with thousands of Lane County voters, underscoring his commitment to responsible forest practices, clean water, and family-wage jobs.

However, building rural prosperity and preserving our precious natural resources isn't a one person job: It takes a community of engaged citizens. Kevin Matthews' campaign to restore sanity and integrity to the Board of Lane County Commissioners is an opportunity to better organize our rural communities around our shared values: livability, family, security, and the freedom to achieve the American Dream.

My Campaign is People Powered!

Every Saturday morning, from 8 to 10am, Kevin Matthews hosts a drop-in coffee conversation with voters, at a trusted public location somewhere in the vast, rural East Lane district.

During the preceding week, our grassroots campaign canvasses the local community during the day, and phonebanks to likely Primary voters there into the evening, inviting many hundreds to each Saturday "Coffee with Kevin."

Voters from Cottage Grove to Churchill, Oakridge to Creswell, Marcola to the Middle Fork of the Willamette, Coburg to the McKenzie River Valley have been activated to take action in this critical election. Kevin has over 160 individual donors, raising over $49,000 to restore sanity and integrity to the Board of Lane County Commissioners.

In each of our far-flung watershed valleys, the Friends of Kevin Matthews campaign has recruited volunteer leaders to host house parties, meet-n-greets, and phonebanks. These satellite locations, in a rural district the size of Rhode Island, will serve as our GOTV staging locations.

Whether it's on the doorstep, at a campaign coffee event, house party, or on the phones - Kevin Matthews is everywhere - East Lane County voters respond to a common theme: It's time for common sense, for a change!

Voice support


  • Melinda Affleck
  • Darby Valley
  • Karl Eysenbach, OR
  • Hal Hartzell
  • Jennifer Nelson, OR
  • Marco Elliott
  • Marietta Thompson, OR
  • John Archer
  • Leslie Rubinstein
  • Christina Shew, OR
...and 64 more.

About the Endorsement Process

The driving force behind all DFA endorsements is our members. We recognize that all politics is local and that what is considered progressive in Los Angeles may be very different from what's considered progressive in Louisville. For this reason, DFA does not have a litmus test of specific progressive positions for which a candidate must stand. Our endorsement is heavily weighted based on these questions:

• Will the candidate move the progressive movement forward in their community?
• Does the candidate have substantial support from our local members?
• Do the candidate's positions and policies fit into the broader progressive movement?
• Is the campaign people-powered and the candidate working to win?

If you have questions, or want to let us know about a candidate in your neighborhood, please call us at (802) 651-3200 or email us at [email protected] .

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