Left-wing political pundit Matthew Dowd has declared his candidacy for lieutenant governor of Texas, with an eye on running in the Democrat primary in 2022. Dowd was chief strategist for the Bush administration in 2004 but publicly denounced the Republican party in 2007, claiming the administration’s handling of the Iraqi conflict and Hurricane Katrina were the reasons for his departure. Since then, Dowd has served as a political analyst for ABC News.

The new candidate is taking aim at Patrick over recently passed legislation such as the Texas Heartbeat Act, which prohibits abortions when a heartbeat is detected, and constitutional carry, which removed the necessity of a state license to carry a firearm.

In a two-minute campaign ad, the gubernatorial hopeful labels Dan Patrick as “cruel and craven.” The video continues with Dowd placing blame on Patrick for incidents such as the shooting in the El Paso Walmart in 2019 and the winter blackout of 2021.

The video showed an image from the 2017 Sutherland Springs church shooting, but it mislabeled the Texas town as “Sunderland Spings,” a gaffe highlighted by former Texas State Sen. Konni Burton. 

The misspelling has since been corrected.

Typos aside, the Dowd campaign is already facing a laundry list of challenges. Although his campaign video focused on attacking Dan Patrick, he may not even get the chance to challenge the incumbent. Mike Collier, the Democrat candidate for lieutenant governor in 2018, has said he will also run for the Democrat nomination in 2022. 

Collier lost in 2018 by a very tight margin, which he hopes will give him a competitive edge in a Democratic primary against Dowd. Ali Zaidi, campaign manager for Mike Collier, had this to say about Dowd’s campaign announcement: 

Mr. Dowd—you may notice things have changed a lot since you were working for Republicans. Democratic voters will be interested to hear how selling a false war, ensuring the deciding Supreme Court vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, and leading the charge to pass numerous anti-marriage equality ballot measures have shaped your current views.

Dowd has his work cut out for him. Appealing to liberal Democrats that increasingly make up the party’s base could be a tough proposition for someone with a history embedded in the Bush administration.

Griffin White

After graduating high school with an associates degree in fine arts, Griffin chose to seek experience in his field of interest rather than attend university. He describes himself as a patriotic Fort Worth native with a passion for cars and guitars. He is now a fellow for Texas Scorecard.