Interview with Congressional candidate Matthew Lucci
Matt Lucci, a 24-year-old mechanical engineer from Arlington, is looking to unseat Olney’s congressman, Rep. Roger Williams, who recently ended a shortlived bid for speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. Mr. Lucci swung through Olney on a fact-finding and campaigning trip on Oct. 20, and spoke to the Enterprise about his platform.
Mr. Lucci grew up in Venus, Texas and now runs a medical technology company that makes pumps designed to regulate the dosage of opioids, and thus cut dependency on the highly addictive drugs. Mr. Lucci conceived the product after a close friend who had become addicted to powerful painkillers accidentally overdosed. The device is going through the Federal Drug Administration approvals process.
The Enterprise held a wide-ranging conversation with Mr. Lucci about a number of issues. Today we focus on his position on U.S. border security.
Enterprise: What possessed you to run against an incumbent?
Matt Lucci: We haven’t really seen Roger Williams in a while and the fentanyl crisis is getting worse and worse in our country. The border crisis is getting worse and worse in our country. We’ve had the same congressman for the last 12 years. Roger Williams voted against the border wall back in 2019, and hasn’t passed a bill into law since renaming a post office in 2014. So it’s very clear that what he cares about is what most members of Congress care about: themselves and being a part of the Washington, DC establishment. And we see this with him saying, Oh, I want to become Speaker now without really ever passing anything significant into law while having one of the country’s lowest leadership scores as a member of Congress.
After praying with my wife and my family and my church family, we decided nothing is going to get done unless you do what God has put on your heart and you go out and do it. Back in April, we announced that we were going to be running against Roger Williams and we’ve been knocking on doors and going across the district ever since.
Enterprise: The big needs in our area are infrastructure, mental health and health services. Can you talk about that?
Mr. Lucci: Over the last three and a half years, you know, since I lost a close friend to an opioid overdose, I’ve dedicated my life to addressing the opioid crisis in this country. One, there’s a demand side. We have to cut down on people getting addicted to begin with. There’s a supply side: we have to make sure that these drugs aren’t being manufactured overseas and being brought into this country.
And then there’s that supply chain part of everything in between, which includes securing the border. As someone who’s dedicated my life to addressing this issue … I think it shows that I myself better than anyone would understand what it takes to solve the issue and will continue to dedicate myself to solving it.
Enterprise: So what exactly are you in favor of doing to prevent the flow of people and drugs?
Mr. Lucci: There’s three things that we should definitely be doing to secure a southern border. One is finishing the border wall. We just got back from the lower Rio Grande Valley a couple months ago, and that’s the part of Texas with the most border wall sections and from talking to law enforcement down there. The walls work because it prevents illegal crossings, prevents drugs from getting across because it funnels people into checkpoints in certain areas.
And if you’re a member of the cartel, you don’t go where the wall is, you find another spot. So it’s really been working for them in the lower Rio Grande Valley. Second, we have to end this policy of catch and release where you get across and in 90 seconds our Border Patrol agents just use an app to check them in, say here’s your court date, show up in six months, 90 percent of those they don’t actually show up. That’s not streamlining the immigration process at all. All it’s doing is streamlining how easy it is to come into this country illegally.
The third thing that we can do, which is reinstate the ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy, or if you’re going to apply for asylum in this country, whether Mexico or whether it’s Guatemala or anywhere else, wherever the first country is that you touch soil, that’s where you need to stay before your court date.