Over the last year, Oscar-winning actor and best-selling author Matthew McConaughey made a number of comments indicating he might run for governor of Texas. Last November, McConaughey told late-night TV host Stephen Colbert he had no intentions of getting into politics, calling it a “broken business.” But when questioned about the possibility of a campaign in March, the part-time UT professor said it was a “true consideration” for him. 

In a 3-minute video posted to his social media accounts on Sunday, McConaughey put the speculation to rest, confirming he will not be running for governor this time around.  

As a simple kid born in the little town of Uvalde, Texas, it never occurred to me that I would one day be considered for political leadership. It’s a humbling and inspiring path to ponder. It is also a path that I’m choosing not to take at this moment. What am I going to do? I’m going to continue to work and use the bounty I have by supporting entrepreneurs, businesses, and foundations that I believe are leaders.

Even if the actor had decided to go for it, the path would not have been easy, as McConaughey never announced a party affiliation. If he had joined the Republican primary, he would have faced not only the massive $58 million campaign fund of Greg Abbott, but he also would have faced the grassroots campaigns of Don Huffines, Allen West, and Chad Prather. 

Running as a Democrat would have pitted McConaughey against Beto O’Rourke, who came closer to beating a Republican for a statewide Texas office than any Democrat in the last 20 years.

Deciding which party to run for would not have been simple for the Uvalde native. McConaughey has made controversial comments surrounding hot topics for both parties. Following the Parkland shooting in 2018, he advocated for gun reform at the March for Our Lives, but he has also expressed concern for mandating the COVID vaccine for young children in recent weeks.  

Now that McConaughey has confirmed he will not be joining the race, candidates will likely double down on their campaigning efforts as the March 1 primary quickly approaches. While there is still the possibility of other candidates joining the race, the deadline for filing is December 13.

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.


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