Matt Mackowiak (Mack-o-VEE-yack) is an Austin and Washington, DC-based political and communications consultant and President of Potomac Strategy Group (PSG), LLC, which provides political consulting to conservative campaigns and media relations and crisis communications assistance to companies, groups and individuals. He has served in senior roles for two U.S. Senators and a Governor, in the Bush administration, and in winning campaigns, and has developed a deep network of media and political relationships nationwide.
Matt consultancy, PSG, which he founded in 2009, provides corporate communications services, including public affairs, media relations, writing, opposition research, digital strategy and other services and has been actively working in the energy, health care, transportation and tech sectors, among others.
In the 2018 cycle, Matt served as General Consultant for Pete Flores, who won Texas Senate District 19 in a ‘shocking’ and ‘historic’ 53%-47% win over Pete Gallego in September special election. Flores flipped a D+12 district and became the first Hispanic Republican ever elected to the Texas Senate. In just eight weeks, the Flores campaign and their supporters made more than 100,000 calls, knocked on more than 30,000 doors, raised over $350,000 and the candidate visited all 17 counties. Flores’ current term will end in January 2021.
In the 2016 cycle, served as general consultant for Hugh Shine, who unseated incumbent State Rep. Molly White by 105 votes out of 18,000+ cast, which was 1 of only 4 State Rep. races (out of 150) where a challenger beat an incumbent. Matt also advised U.S. Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX), who won reelection in TX-23 in a highly competitive district during a difficult national political environment.
In the 2014 cycle, Matt managed a statewide campaign for Texas Comptroller for House Ways and Means chairman Harvey Hilderbran, raising over $2.3 million and earning over 300,000 votes while winning 59 counties, ultimately finishing second in a four-way primary. He advised Texas Supreme Court Justice Jeff Brown, who won his contested primary by the third largest margin of any Republican statewide candidate. He also advised former U.S. Attorney John Ratcliffe, who defeated 17-term U.S. Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX) in a primary runoff, the first Republican challenger to defeat a Republican congressional incumbent in Texas in the state’s history. From 2011-2014, Matt worked with PSG client Gov. Sean Parnell (R-AK) as a senior communications adviser, providing counsel on strategy, speechwriting and media relations. In 2010 Matt served as Campaign Manager for Bill Flores, the Republican nominee in Texas’ 17th Congressional District. After winning a 5-way primary, Flores defeated 10-term incumbent Rep. Chet Edwards (D-TX) by 25% in November, the largest margin of victory of the 63 winning GOP challengers in the 2010 cycle.
In addition to offering counsel to individuals and corporations, Matt appears regularly on MSNBC, Fox News, Sky News, BBC News and CBC-TV, and provides political analysis three times a week for KTBC Fox 7 in Austin. He is an exclusive weekly columnist for The Washington Times and periodic columnist for The New York Observer and The Hill. His weekly national politics podcast, “Mack On Politics,” which is produced in partnership with The Washington Times, has surpassed the 80,000-download mark and has featured interviews with U.S. Senators, members of Congress and a Cabinet Secretary, best-selling authors, diplomats and top journalists. He is a judge for professional awards through the AAPC Pollies and the Goldies, given to top performing campaign operatives and vendors annually.
From 2007-2009 Matt served as Press Secretary to U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), the 4th highest ranking member of the GOP Leadership and from 2005-2007 he served in the same role for three-term former U.S. Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT). From 2003-2004 he was a political appointee at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security serving Under Secretary Asa Hutchinson. In 2004 he managed the second largest county in Iowa on the 2004 Bush-Cheney re-election campaign. In 2005 he performed White House Presidential advance nationwide.
Matt is currently serving as Chairman of the Travis County Republican Party, where he manages three staff and an annual budget of over $350,000. He is a Director of the Center for Public Policy and Political Studies at Austin Community College. In 2016, he was named a finalist for “Austin Under 40” in the Public Affairs category and he is a graduate of Leadership Austin’s 2017 Essential Class. After raising over $54,000 in ten weeks for cancer research, he was named 2016 “Man of the Year” runner-up for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and serves as a member of their leadership committee. He serves as a member of the Board of Advisors for the Texas Cowboys and for the Veterans non-profit Luke’s Wings and on the Board of Directors for Balcones Country Club. He serves as Vice President of the Texas Delta Chi Housing Foundation. He was a 2016 delegate to the British-American Project, and now serves as U.S. Vice Chair, and is a member of the Council for National Policy and the Headliners Club in Austin.
A native of Austin, Matt graduated with a B.S. in Political Communications from the University of Texas in 2003. Aside from his professional work, he owns and manages the popular blog site www.PotomacFlacks.com, which the Washingtonian Magazine has called “one of the best political blogs.” In 2012, Matt started a bipartisan political blog for Texas politics, MustReadTexas.com, which aggregates the top news and opinion from across the state and delivers a daily email newsletter to more than 3,000 subscribers. Matt and his wife Suzanne live in Northwest Hills in Austin and have three spoiled dogs, Ginny, Jasmine and Ella.