The Curious Case of Mateo Dunne

Collin Cope | Fairfax County Times

With the Nov. 7 election around the corner, some residents and politicians in the Mount Vernon District express concerns surrounding school board candidate Mateo Dunne’s campaign tactics.

Having a couple of notable endorsements, Dunne is set to run as the Democratic Party-endorsed candidate and states that he is “the only candidate in the Mount Vernon District who is ‘Teacher Endorsed.'”

A county resident for nearly 20 years, Dunne makes a case for his candidacy on his website. Not only was he recognized as ‘Mount Vernon District Community Champion’ in 2018, but he also stated that he would work to maintain funding for the public school system to “provide a world-class education to every child.”

But Dunne’s platform isn’t quite what causes concern for residents. On the website, voters can find various objections some Mount Vernon residents have with his campaign.

To start, the website takes issue with his endorsements and challenges the support he claims to receive.

According to Dunne, his endorsements come from the likes of State Senator Scott Surovell, Delegate Mark Sickles, former Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova, former Supervisor Gerry Hyland, and former Mount Vernon school board representatives Karen Corbett Sanders and Kris Admundson. However, according to the Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP) website, none have contributed financially to his campaign.

Additionally, while VPAP shows that Delegate Paul Krizek did give to Dunne’s campaign in April, Krizek later withdrew his support. To better understand why Krizek became concerned about Dunne, it would be best to start in 2021.

While he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Fairfax Federation and the Mount Vernon Council of Citizens’ Associations, Dunne was permitted to speak during a Planning Commission hearing on Jan. 28, 2021. The meeting was meant to discuss updates to the county’s zoning ordinance for the first time in over 40 years.

Before the meeting, Dunne registered to speak on behalf of the Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations. This allowed him a 10-minute time block instead of the 5-minute block allotted for those speaking as individuals.

Dunne wrapped up his speech by saying he was speaking as an individual after claiming otherwise during registration.

“Finally, I am speaking as a private citizen, not as a representative of these organizations because they are blindsided by the draft that came on January 19th,” said Dunne.

As a result, Dunne was encouraged to and ultimately resigned from the Board of Directors of the Fairfax Federation and the Mount Vernon Council of Citizens’ Associations.

“Matt was technically speaking out of turn,” said Federation President William Barfield in an article published by the Fairfax County Times. “He was identified as speaking for the Federation when he was not, and as a result, offered to resign.”

In 2022, Dunne changed his name. Before this, his name was Matthew Stanton Dunne III. A court order dated Sept. 22, 2022, changed it to Mateo Oramas Reyes Dunne.

In an April article published in “On The Move,” Dunne was pressed about the decision to change his name. In response, Dunne claimed that he made the change to honor his wife’s Cuban family, who considered him one of their own after his father’s death when he was 18.

“During the pandemic, I decided to honor the people I call Mami and Papi by changing my name to Mateo Oramas Reyes Dunne. They call me Mateo. Oramas is Mami’s maiden name, and Reyes is Papi’s last name. They are my family, and I love them with all my heart,” said Dunne.

Early on, Dunne upset some early supporters due to inaccuracies regarding his campaign finance reports.

Mount Vernon resident and FCPS School Health Advisory Committee (SHAC) member Sherri Nachnani initially supported Dunne’s bid for the school board after working with him in the PTSA. She even held a campaign kick-off reception at her house.

During the reception, Nachnani claims to have provided him an in-kind donation of $150, which Dunne listed as an in-kind donation of $10,000 on his campaign finance report.

Nachnani expressed frustration with his actions in an email published on

“I was blindsided. It appears this was an attempt to make his fundraising efforts appear much larger than his opponent, to misrepresent,” said Nachnani.

Additionally, on April 24, Democratic challenger Harold Sims stated that some of Dunne’s campaign tactics were based on half-truths.

Sims claimed in his statement that Dunne compared Sims’ campaign to that of Republican Coles District Supervisor Yesli Vega, with whom Sims worked at the Prince William County Sheriff’s Department.

“That is an extreme mischaracterization of my relationship with Supervisor Vega,” said Sims. “While we were both employed at the Prince William County Sherriff’s Department when she ran for Congress, many of her views became extreme to the degree that I restricted our relationship to the professional collaboration required for us to do our jobs.”

Additionally, Sims pointed out Dunne’s history of donating to Republican campaigns, pointing to his $2,100 donation to then-delegate Jeffrey Frederick between 2003 and 2007 and a total of $750 sent to John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign.

In response, Dunne published a statement requesting an in-person meeting with Sims to “restore civility to his campaign” and fought against the claim that he supports Republicans.

“I donated to two Republicans over a dozen years ago. One was a college friend who was the first Latino elected to Virginia legislature, and the other was John McCain during the Republican primary because I had met him during an internship. My positive opinion was confirmed when he saved Obamacare in 2017,” said Dunne.

However, Sims’ campaign manager Matt Renninger released a statement on Facebook further discrediting Dunne’s trust within the community. In the statement, Renninger includes screenshots of an incident between Dunne and one of his neighbors. After neighbor Shawn Gee confronted Dunne about trimming a tree in his neighbor’s yard, Dunne responded to his message with charged language.

“Hey Shawn, I thought you were a decent guy. Turns out you’re just a common asshole. I don’t remember asking for your opinion,” said Dunne. “You’re just a dumb f— who dresses like a schlub, thinks he’s smarter than other people, and sticks his nose into other people’s business.”

He goes on to accuse Gee of being a conspiracy theorist and takes aim at his family.

“You married a good woman. Fortunately, your kids got her DNA rather than yours. Have a good life, sh–bag. Next time, before you go sticking your nose where it doesn’t belong and standing in self-righteous judgment of other people, maybe get the whole story. You are no better than the assholes watching the One America News Network and believing all the conspiracy bile,” added Dunne.

When asked about the website, in an email to the Fairfax County Times, Dunne described it as a Republican hit-piece and argued that it was designed to detract from his candidacy. However, the moderator of the page, who asked not to be named, said he has never been affiliated with any political party. also shows that website URLs designed for Dunne’s opponents, primary challenger Harold Sims and Republican challenger Stori Zimmerman, were redirecting voters to his website,, in April. As of today, these sites do not redirect to Dunne’s page.

Finally, Dunne is vice president of the Stratford Landing Citizens’ Association (SLCA). Still, sources say he has not attended a single Executive Committee meeting this year, even though all but one of the meetings have been conducted online.

Now the public will decide Dunne’s fate in the votes cast for the Mount Vernon District school board seat.

This article was first published at on September 29, 2023.

Share This Article:

Newsletter Signup

Sign up to be the first to receive news and events from Fairfax GOP!
Electing Republicans At Every Level


Powered by VOTEGTR

Early Voting is On!

Make a plan to vote!
Get your custom sample ballot and local precinct polling info here:
No thanks. Take me back to the Fairfax GOP home page.

2024 U.S. Senate & Congressional Primary

GOP Primary Election Day is Tuesday, June 18

Election Calendar

  • Early voting opens 5/3
  • 5/28 – Deadline to register to vote (otherwise, same-day registration with provisional ballot)
  • 6/7 – Deadline to apply for an absentee ballot​
  • 6/8 - One of two Saturdays open for early voting, and additional early voting locations open.
  • Early Voting ends 6/15
  • 6/18 – Election Day

We need you on our team in '24.

Get active in the effort to take back Fairfax County from the progressives hellbent on raising taxes, coddling criminals, and socializing public schools.
First things first. Are you receiving info about local GOP events and elections?

No problem. We can fix that right now.

Thanks. We won’t overload your inbox, but we will keep you in the loop on important Fairfax GOP info and events.

Do you want to recieve news of events via text msg?
By providing your phone number, you are consenting to receive recurring calls and SMS/MMS campaign and donation messages, including autodialed and automated calls and texts to that number from the Fairfax County Republican Committee. Msg & data rates may apply. You agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Text HELP for help and STOP to stop. Msg & data rates may apply.

The Fairfax GOP is recruiting new members who agree we need to draw a line in the sand and take our county back from the progressives.

Would you consider joining the Fairfax GOP as a voting member so you can have your say on committee business, candidates, and policy resolutions?*
No thanks. Take me back to the Fairfax GOP home page.