Gonzales County Sheriff Matt Atkinson announced last week that he is going to seek a second term as sheriff in 2020.
Atkinson, the 33rd sheriff in Gonzales County history, was first elected in 2016.
“I set a lot of goals when I first ran for sheriff,” Atkinson said last week. “I think we’ve accomplished many of the goals I set out to obtain, but there still is a lot to get done and that is why I am announcing that I am running for sheriff in 2020.”
Atkinson noted that one of the biggest issues facing the county and the Sheriff’s Department is the future of the jail, and the need for expanding and modernizing the current facility.
“One of the biggest issues facing the county as far as the Sheriff’s Department is concerned is the operation and expansion of the jail,” Atkinson said. “I think we are working on a good plan for the future, and I want to be here to help work through the issues we are going to have to deal with when it comes to expanding the jail down the road.”
Atkinson noted that he has worked hard to improve the working relationship between county government and the Sheriff’s Department, but also emphasized his financial management of the department as one of his best accomplishment’s while serving as sheriff.
“I have always managed the Sheriff’s Department responsibly,” Atkinson said. “Operationally, we have either come in under budget or below the expected increase in expenses. I am proud that we operate a fiscally-sound department while at the same time we have improved our relationships with the citizens of Gonzales and with county government. I am very proud of that.”
Atkinson noted that he has improved training for Sheriff’s Department personnel and at the jail, while at the same time improving community relations. He points to a new official agency website, a new scholarship program at all county high schools, increased training for all personnel after the shooting at Sutherland Springs, and improved public relations as just a few of the things he has already accomplished as sheriff.
“It’s a privilege for me to be here as sheriff,” Atkinson said. “It’s humbling for me to be able to serve, but I think my service, record and money management prove that I can help the county as sheriff.”
Atkinson has over 28 years of law enforcement and military experience. A 1986 graduate of Gonzales High School, Atkinson attended Austin Community College and is a U.S. Navy veteran who served in both Operation Earnest Will and Desert Storm. Atkinson started his law enforcement career with the Gonzales Police Department, worked for the Luling Police Department, then as a reserve deputy for the Sheriff’s Department. He started full time in 2009 as a deputy investigator, was promoted to Sergeant then Lieutenant Investigator before being elected in 2016.
He is a member of the First United Methodist Church, the Masonic Lodge, the VFW, American Legion, National Sheriff’s Association, Sheriff’s Association of Texas, Western States Sheriff’s Association and the Texas Jail Association.
He is married to his wife Cheryl. They have two children: Ancel, a sophomore at Texas A&M, and Quinn, a senior at Gonzales High School.