Hollywood actor Matthew McConaughey announced on Sunday evening that he will not be running for the Governor of Texas in 2022.
According to Deadline, McConaughey said, “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 is also a path that I’m choosing not to take at this moment.” The Texas governor’s race is already being called as one of the nation’s highest-profile contests in 2022.
The Oscar-winner talked about the values of service and what he’s learned in the interim while considering to run for political office in a three-minute video posted onto his personal Instagram page.
McConaughey reflected, “What have I learned? That we have some problems we need to fix, that our politics needs new purpose, that we have divides that need healing, that we need more trust in our lives. We got to start shining a light on our shared values, the ones that cross party lines, the ones that build bridges instead of burn them, that our children are our greatest asset.”
The Texas native will instead focus his energy on other endeavors that he deems are socially beneficial.
“I’m going to continue to work and invest the bounty I have by supporting entrepreneurs, businesses and foundations that I believe are creating pathways for people to succeed in life. Organizations that have a mission to serve and build trust while also generating prosperity. That’s the American dream,” McConaughey said.
The announcement comes after a recent ‘Dallas Morning News’ poll showing McConaughey would best both Republican incumbent Greg Abbott and Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke.
If he had entered the race, it would have been a unique campaign but not all that unusual. Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger successfully parlayed acting careers into successful gubernatorial bids. Less successful was Cynthia Nixon, who tried to unseat Andrew Cuomo in the New York primary in 2018.
But there’s also a long list of celebrities who ponder a run for office but ultimately do not. They include Val Kilmer, who considered running for governor of New Mexico, and Ashley Judd, who pondered a run for the Kentucky Senate seat held by Mitch McConnell.
Recently McConaughey had weighed what was on his mind as he explored a run, including, “If I went into politics, would I still be able to be the artist that I am? Would I still be able to create? That would be the great art.”
He continued, “Now, there is a great art here of the art right now. The great picture, the narrative to be told is how we are going to come back together and find a common denominator of values amongst ourselves, whatever political party or church you do or don’t go to. That story, who can write that story and set up that vision and have people choose to chase that? That’ll be the master storyteller. I don’t know. Is that in politics? Is that in the right lane to get that done? I’m not sure.”
While he suggested that his position in the polls was due to a certain kind of trust and authenticity, he also was a bit clear eyed that as a newcomer he had yet to outline his positions. He had said that he would be a centrist, but had not decided whether he would run for one of the major party nominations or as a third party candidate, as per Deadline.