Matthew McConaughey has announced he is not running for governor of Texas, insisting that his time and energy is better spent elsewhere, and ending months of speculation.
The 52-year-old Oscar-winning actor posted a video to Twitter on Sunday evening saying he was honored to be even considered.
‘As a simple kid born in the 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. It is also a path that I am choosing not to take at this moment.’
Matthew McConaughey on Sunday evening confirmed he is not running for governor of Texas
McConaughey has never stated whether he would run as a Democrat, Republican or independent, and instead described his politics as ‘aggressively centrist’.
Neither had he outlined any policy priorities, although he is know for his activism on the environment and young people.
The actor, seen in February 2020, never stated whether he would run as a Republican, Democrat or independent
Last year McConaughey published a New York Times bestselling memoir, Greenlights, which he described as a book about ‘successes and failures, joys and sorrows, things that made me marvel, and things that made me laugh out loud.’
On Sunday, McConaughey said he had loved the process of deciding whether to run.
‘What have I learned? A lot. The we have some problems we need to fix,’ he said.
‘That our politics needs new purpose. That we have divides that need healing. That we need more trust in our lives.
‘That 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 so, hey, let’s be as good of parents as we can be.’
McConaughey, pictured in his hometown of Austin, Texas on January 21, said that he had been considering a run for two years
McConaughey has three children with his wife, Brazilian-American model Camila Alves, and they live in Austin.
McConaughey said he would continue to support ‘entrepreneurs, businesses and foundations that I believe are leaders’ and ‘creating pathways for people to succeed in life.’
He added: ‘Politicians, the good ones can help us get where we need to go, yeah.
‘But let’s be clear: They can’t do anything for us unless we chose to do for ourselves.’
He said he had spent the past two years trying to listen and learn, as well as studying local and national politics.
‘I’ve learned that freedom comes with responsibility,’ he said.
He ended his four and a half minute Twitter address with the phrase, ‘Just keep livin’,’ a line from his breakthrough role in the 1993 movie Dazed and Confused.
Democrat Beto O’Rourke (left) has announced he is taking on Greg Abbott, the Republican incumbent running for a third term
Tea Party candidate Allen West, seen with Donald Trump in July 2020, is challenging Abbott from the right
The current governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, is running for re-election and hoping for a third term.
He is being challenged from the right by a Tea Party candidate, Allen West, a former chair of the Texas Republican Party, who went on to represent Florida in Congress.
The main opponent on the left is Beto O’Rourke, a Democrat who ran for president in 2020 but was easily defeated in the primaries.
A poll on November 10 put Abbott out front, with 46 per cent of voters saying they would vote for Abbott if the election were held today.
O’Rourke, who announced his candidacy on November 15, came in second, receiving 37 per cent of the vote.
The two candidates are by far the favorites in their respective party primaries, too.
The poll of 1,200 registered voters was conducted by the University of Texas and Texas Tribune in October and released this month. The poll said it was done with a margin of error of 2.8 percentage points.
Half of voters said they had an unfavorable view of O’Rourke, but only a quarter had the same view of McConaughey.
Almost a third of voters had no real opinion on the Oscar-award winning actor as a candidate compared to just 8 per cent of voters on O’Rourke.
In a poll released in September by Quinnipiac University, 50 per cent of registered voters said they didn’t think O’Rourke would make a good governor compared with 49 per cent who said the same of McConaughey.
O’Rourke brushed off the idea of a close race with the actor at the time, and was skeptical about McConaughey’s decision not to say which side he was running on.
‘He’s a really popular figure whose political views have not in any way been fixed,’ O’Rourke said in September.
‘I don’t know, for example, who he voted for in the most consequential election since 1864 in this country.
‘I don’t know how he feels about any of the issues that we’ve brought up.
‘So I think that might explain part of [the polling].’