Meet Matt Willhite
A firefighter, Navy Veteran, and three-term State Representative, Matt Willhite has called Palm Beach County home since childhood. Matt has devoted his career to public service, and he’s running for County Commission to continue his lifelong service to our community.
After graduating from Palm Beach County State College, Matt served our country for 8 years in the United States Navy as a Corpsman, serving with the 4th ANGLICO of the United States Marine Corps. He credits the camaraderie of working as a unit with instilling in him the values of service and community above self.
In 1996, he became a member of the Palm Beach County Fire Rescue, rising through the ranks to become a Captain, a position in which he continues to serve to this day. He can often be found at the fire station, pulling 24 hour shifts and keeping our community safe. His service with PBCFR is a large part of why he first sought public office: to advocate for his fellow brothers and sisters who serve as law enforcement officers and first responders.
Seeing an opportunity to benefit his neighbors through good policymaking, he was elected to the Wellington Village Council in 2008, eventually serving as Vice Mayor. On the council, he was a champion for open and transparent government, working to build trust with the community with a no-nonsense approach that brought together different stakeholders to achieve a collective solution.
Matt’s service continues in the Florida House of Representatives, where he was first elected in 2016. As a freshman member in the minority, Matt was able to pass crucial legislation extending PTSD treatment to the law enforcement officers and first responders who are placed in harm’s way through their service and duty. He’s been a strong supporter of small businesses, seniors, public schools, and smart COVID-19 response. Matt remains the first and only active-duty firefighter to serve in the Florida legislature.
Matt firmly believes that through a commitment to service, mutual respect and compromise we can improve the lives of everyone in Palm Beach County. His dedication to our community, decades of service, and collaborative approach will ensure he delivers results for us on the County Commission. As he has throughout his career, Matt will prioritize public service through action, not politics, as a County Commissioner.
A graduate of Lake Worth High School and Palm Beach County State College, Matt lives in Wellington with his wife Alexis and their two boys, Luke & Mark.