He was elected in 1998 to represent the 16th Nebraska legislative district and reelected in 2002. He sat on the General Affairs committee and was vice chairperson of the Revenue, Urban Affairs, and Building Maintenance committees. Due to term limits approved by Nebraska voters in Initiative Measure 415 in 2001, state senators are limited to two terms, and Connealy was "termed out" in 2006.
He unsuccessfully ran for the United States House of Representatives in 2004 in Nebraska's 1st congressional district but lost to Republican Jeff Fortenberry. In 2006, Connealy unsuccessfully sought elective office as Nebraska Public Service Commissioner for district 3.
|Nebraska state senator-district 16
|Executive Director of Nebraska Democratic Party
- The Washington Post 2004 election results
- "Nebraska Unicameral Legislature". Sen. Matt Connealy. Retrieved March 15, 2006.
- Endorsement of Connealy by the Catholic Democrats of Nebraska