Politics

Matthew McConaughey Says He Will Not Run for Texas Governor ‘at This Moment’

The actor and author Matthew McConaughey announced on Sunday that he would not run for governor of Texas for now, after months of weighing whether he would seek the office.

In a video posted on Twitter and Instagram, Mr. McConaughey, 52, said running for governor is a “humbling and inspiring path to ponder.”

“It is also a path that I’m choosing not to take at this moment,” he said.

Mr. McConaughey’s announcement came about two weeks before the candidate filing deadline for the Texas primary, and about two weeks after Beto O’Rourke, a former El Paso congressman and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, announced his run for the office against Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican.

Mr. McConaughey’s announcement also came weeks after he drew widespread attention for saying that he would not mandate vaccines for young children because he would like more information, adding that in his household, “we go slow on vaccinations, even before Covid.”

Instead of running for governor, Mr. McConaughey said, he would continue to support entrepreneurs, businesses and foundations that are “leaders,” establishments that are “creating pathways for people to succeed in life,” and “organizations that have a mission to serve and build trust, while also generating prosperity.”

“That’s the American dream,” he said. “And politicians? The good ones can help us get to where we need to go. Yeah, but let’s be clear: They can’t do anything for us unless we choose to do for ourselves.”

When asked about whether he would run for governor in an interview in October on the New York Times podcast “Sway,” Mr. McConaughey said he was learning more about politics and measuring whether politics is “an embassy for me to be of the most use to myself, to my family, to the most amount of people in my life moving forward.”

“I like to measure things before I partake,” he said on the podcast. “And you’ve got to partake before you’ve partook.”

Mr. McConaughey is known for roles in movies that include “Interstellar,” “The Wolf of Wall Street” and “Dallas Buyers Club,” for which he won the Academy Award for best actor in 2014. Last year, he published a memoir, “Greenlights.”

Mr. McConaughey had not previously indicated whether he would run for governor as a Republican or a Democrat.

Mr. Abbott, who has been governor since 2014, is seeking a third term in a state where no Democrat has won a statewide election since 1994.

In a poll released last week by The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler, voters said they would be more likely to support Mr. McConaughey than Mr. O’Rourke by almost 2-to-1.

In a hypothetical three-way general election contest, Mr. Abbott was the favorite with 37 percent of the vote, followed by Mr. McConaughey with 27 percent and Mr. O’Rourke with 26 percent. Ten percent of voters in the poll wanted someone else.


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