for House District 47
The Early Years
Like so many people in booming House District 47, Aaron was born outside of Texas. But his dad’s company pulled the young Reitz family to San Antonio when Aaron was in middle school.
On Aaron’s first day on the school bus, he met Meredith Neumann, who would become his wife years later. They attended public school together in San Antonio—Barbara Bush Middle School and Ronald Reagan High School—and always had an interest in each other. But Meredith’s active role in student council and Aaron’s involvement in sports kept them in separate circles. After the last football game during their senior year, Aaron finally asked Meredith on a date. They went out two days later. Meredith, a native Texan and Hill Country girl, showed Aaron all there is to love about Texas. As their relationship grew deeper, Aaron knew that Texas would forever be his home and that, one day, Meredith would be his wife.
Off to College Station
In the fall of 2005, Aaron and Meredith started at Texas A&M University. Aaron was drawn there by his desire to participate in the Corps of Cadets and ultimately serve in the military. And Meredith had plans to be a veterinarian—or so she thought at the time. She soon realized it wasn’t all puppies and kitties, and, after taking one too many cow’s temperature, transferred to the University of Texas at Austin. Aaron and Meredith were engaged at the end of their junior year.
While at A&M, Aaron was a member of Company E-2 in the Corps of Cadets (the unit responsible for Reveille, A&M’s mascot), a Fish Aide, and a Buck Weirus Spirit Award recipient. He rose through the ranks to become a Cadet Colonel and Regimental Commander his senior year, leading an executive staff and over 250 student cadets. He also received a Marine Corps ROTC scholarship and attended Officer Candidate School in the summer of 2008. He graduated in 2009 with a B.S. in political science, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and as a Distinguished Naval Graduate. On the same day he graduated, Aaron commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. Meanwhile, Meredith graduated from UT with a B.A. in government.
Marriage and the Marines
On October 10, 2009, Aaron and Meredith married in the Texas Hill Country where their love first blossomed. They rented their first apartment together in Austin. Aaron had orders to report to The Basic School in Quantico, VA, but, like many new lieutenants at that time, had a few months to kill before starting. So Aaron worked officer recruiting duty in and around Austin, mainly giving speeches and conducting panels with college student organizations to promote military leadership opportunities. He was the first Marine officer recruiter ever on the campuses of Huston-Tillotson and Southwestern Universities.
Aaron and Meredith moved to Quantico in early 2010 and reported to The Basic School to train in the fundamental duties, responsibilities, and warfighting skills required of a rifle platoon commander. Aaron graduated in the top 15% of his 270-officer class. He then moved to Camp Lejeune, NC, for Logistics Officers Course, where he graduated at the very top of his 40-officer class.
Aaron received orders to report the 2d Battalion, 4th Marines—an infantry battalion nicknamed the “Magnificent Bastards”—in Camp Pendleton, CA. Within a few weeks of arriving in early 2011, Aaron learned that he’d be deploying to Afghanistan soon and that Meredith was pregnant, which in turn meant that Aaron would miss his first child’s birth. But Aaron and Meredith pressed forward, trusting in God’s providence and knowing that everything would work out.
Aaron was assigned to his battalion’s Embedded Training Team. His team’s mission was to prepare the Afghan National Army to stand on their own feet. They deployed to Musa Qala in the northern Helmand Province in August 2011. There are far too many Afghanistan stories for this website. But the bottom line is that, even though Aaron missed his son’s birth, he considers his deployment a success: during his seven months overseas, he spearheaded the transition of over 1,000 Afghan soldiers spread over 385 square miles to logistical independence from allied nation support. And back on the home front, Meredith exhibited extraordinary strength, courage, and grace as she brought William Haddon into the world with the help of family and friends.
Aaron returned to California to reunite with Meredith and meet his four-month-old son, who the Afghans had nicknamed “Haroon Coochak,” meaning “Little Aaron” in the Pashto and Dari languages. Aaron and Meredith began wondering what life outside the Marines might look like. Aaron always had an interest in law, so he took the Law School Admissions Test and earned admission to the University of Texas School of Law.
But Aaron still had a couple more years left on active duty. He was later assigned as a battalion logistics officer leading a team of 25 Marines and a fleet of 68 vehicles in the execution of over 100 logistical convoys in support of 1,200 personnel. He was soon promoted to the rank of Captain and took charge of a team of 40 Marines and 120 vehicles in support of regimental and battalion field training exercises. He also coordinated the movement of three battalions to and from deployments to Southeast Asia. Meanwhile, he and Meredith had their second child, a beautiful baby girl named Caroline Grace.
The Forty Acres After the Marines
Before starting at UT Law in the fall of 2014, Aaron spent that spring as a fellow at the John Jay Institute in Philadelphia. The fellowship is a semester-long post-graduate course of study in the roots of the American political, social, and cultural order. Its mission is to prepare principled leaders for faith-informed public service. After John Jay, Aaron was selected as a Koch Fellow with the Texas Public Policy Foundation. At TPPF, Aaron worked on curtailing federal overreach into state affairs.
While a first-year law student at UT, Aaron was chosen by his peers as the Lino Graglia Conservative Student of the Year. That summer, Aaron was a Blackstone Legal Fellow with the Alliance Defending Freedom, the nation’s preeminent nonprofit law firm that advocates for religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and family. Aaron was selected from among over 150 of his Blackstone peers for the Gustavson Award, which recognizes exemplary character, leadership, and work performance in each Fellowship class. He also worked as an Executive Editor with the conservative Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy.
While a second-year law student, Aaron served as President of the Texas Federalist Society. Under his leadership, FedSoc increased dues-paying members by 250%, event attendance by 160%, and doubled the number of events hosted on campus. His chapter was chosen from among over 200 nationwide as the 2015–16 chapter of the year. He also worked in Governor Abbott’s Legislative Affairs and Appointments Offices.
Finally, as a third-year student, he served as Editor in Chief of the Texas Review of Law & Politics, one of only a few conservative law journals in the country. During that time, he created a new website, published a third issue for the first time in the Review’s 20-year history, and increased journal membership by 60%. He realized success with both FedSoc and the Review despite a 35% decrease in incoming class size at UT Law from 2007 to 2017.
Aaron was inducted into the Texas Friar Society in the fall of 2016.
A Conservative Practicing Law
After graduating from UT Law, Aaron moved to Houston with Meredith, Will, and Caroline to practice corporate law at the Texas-based international law firm Bracewell LLP. Meanwhile, the United States Senate confirmed Don Willett as a federal appellate judge, creating a vacancy on the Texas Supreme Court. Governor Abbott then appointed his general counsel, Jimmy Blacklock, to fill that vacancy. Aaron reached out to Justice Blacklock about the prospect of working for him. Justice Blacklock soon hired Aaron as his inaugural law clerk. Aaron took a 70% pay cut and moved his family back to Austin. Money was tight, but it was worth it to get back into the fight to advance conservatism in Austin.
During his clerkship, Aaron was selected for the John Marshall Fellowship with the Claremont Institute and the James Wilson Fellowship with the James Wilson Institute. After one and a half years with Justice Blacklock, Aaron returned to private practice. He now works on administrative litigation, representing private entities as they navigate the seemingly impenetrable thicket of state and local regulatory regimes.
Aaron currently serves as the chairman of the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Liberty Leadership Council-Austin. The LLC fosters relationships among Austin-based professionals who share the values of individual liberty, personal responsibility, and free enterprise. Aaron also remains a Captain in the Marine Corps Reserve. His unit is headquartered at Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene, TX.
The Reitz Family Today
Aaron and Meredith consider it their highest blessing to raise seven-year-old Will and five-year-old Caroline. They also consider it a blessing—although a much more frustrating one, to be sure!—to train their one-year-old German Shorthaired Pointer, Sammie. Sammie was born on April 21, 2018—the anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto—and is named after Sam Houston, who on that day in 1836 led the Texans to win their independence. When Aaron and Meredith aren’t cheering on the kids’ baseball or soccer fields, the whole family can be found walking the trails at Ladybird Lake or hiking and biking the green belt. The Reitzes are members at St. John Neumann Catholic Church.
My Top Issues
Cut Property Taxes
To feed its never-ending appetite to expand, the government always raises taxes, hurting families, seniors, and local businesses in the process. In Texas, property taxes are at the center of the government-gluttony problem. We need hard limits on property tax growth. And as a general matter, government—especially city governments, which have dangerously and irresponsibly accumulated hundreds of billions of dollars of debt—must be forced to live within limited means.
Safe Schools & Communities
We want our kids and grandkids to be free to play at local parks, go on the internet, and attend school without fear that they’ll be in danger. Law enforcement personnel, school security officers, teachers, and administrators need tools to keep our neighborhoods safe. The 2nd Amendment recognizes that private citizens have the right keep our communities safe too. What’s more, cartels and violent gangs have crept over our southern border. We can do more to enforce existing immigration laws and provide the authorities with what they need to keep Texas safe.
Families know best what kind of education their children need. We should give parents education opportunities that suit their children, including access to great public, private, charter, or home schools. Unfortunately, one-size-fits-all bureaucracies have deemed bloated administrative jobs and curriculum-dominating standardized tests to be the keys to education success. I strongly disagree. I want resources devoted to the real educators: classroom teachers.
Our first God-given community is the family. A mother and father are the preeminent guiding authority in a child’s life, not activist judges or meddling bureaucrats. Every human life from conception to natural death is sacred and deserves the fullest protection of the law. Mothers lacking traditional support networks need aid and assistance before, during, and after their children are born. Men who avoid the responsibilities of fatherhood must be held accountable. We must also recognize that American society is built upon Judeo-Christian values. We need to fight against secular progressivism that seeks to erode that tradition and suppress religious liberty.