Matthew McConaughey says he will not run for Texas governor

Matthew McConaughey watches player warmups before the game between the Texas Longhorns and the LSU Tigers at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in September 2019 in Austin, Texas. (Tim Warner/Getty Images/TNS)
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Nataly Keomoungkhoun and Mede Nix The Dallas Morning News (TNS)

Actor Matthew McConaughey said Sunday evening that he has decided not to run for Texas governor after considering the idea for several months.

In a three-minute video posted to his Twitter and Instagram accounts, McConaughey said he was humbled to be regarded as a possible candidate but that it is a path he is “choosing not to take at this moment.”

“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,” he said. “It’s a humbling and inspiring path to ponder.”

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McConaughey said he would continue to serve in other ways, by supporting “entrepreneurs, businesses and foundations that I believe are leaders.”

His announcement comes almost two weeks after Democrat Beto O’Rourke launched his campaign for governor. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott filed for a third term Tuesday.

Polls showed McConaughey could have been a significant force in the governor’s race. A Dallas Morning News/UT-Tyler poll released earlier this month found that by nearly 2-to-1, all voters would be more likely to support McConaughey than O’Rourke. Pluralities of Democrats and independents wanted the Oscar-winning movie star to run.

But McConaughey never declared whether he would run as a Republican or a Democrat. By 65% to 11%, Democratic voters who responded to the poll believed O’Rourke offers the best chance for Democrats to break a statewide losing streak that dates to 1998.

In the hypothetical three-way general election contest, Abbott was the choice of 37%, McConaughey 27% and O’Rourke 26%. Ten percent of voters want someone else.

The deadline for filing for the primaries or to declare an independent candidacy declaration is Dec. 13.

The poll, which was conducted Nov. 9-16, surveyed 1,106 adults who are registered voters and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.

A campaign spokesperson for O’Rourke declined to comment.

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