Matthew McConaughey announces ‘humbling’ decision on running for governor of Texas

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Actor Matthew McConaughey announced Sunday in a video shared on social media that, after mulling the decision for months, he has decided against running for governor in his home state of Texas.

Born in Uvalde, Texas, and residing in Austin, McConaughey, 52, said that running for governor is a “humbling and inspiring path to ponder,” before adding, “It is also a path that I’m choosing not to take at this moment.”

The announcement comes after a recent University Of Texas-Dallas Morning News survey showed McConaughey with a solid lead in the race, leading incumbent Republican Gov. Greg Abbott by 8 points in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup and clobbering Democratic hopeful Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke 49-27.

“Over the past two years, I’ve been working on the answer to the question of how I can be most useful in this life going forward,” the Academy Award-winning actor said in the three-minute video posted to Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. “Useful to myself, useful to my family and to the most amount of people.”

Explaining that he has been exploring politics, McConaughey added, “I’ve been considering a run for the governor of Texas. I’ve been listening, I’ve been learning, been measuring. I’ve been studying Texas politics and American politics. What did I learn? A lot — 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. 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 a parent as we can be.”

“I’ve learned that freedom comes with responsibility, and that great leaders serve,” he continued. “Whether a politician, a CEO, star quarterback, a mother, father, husband, wife, brother, friend, mentor or teacher, we lead by serving each other. We lead through our service. What is service? Service is taking on responsibility today, so we can have more freedom tomorrow. Service is making the better choice for you and for me.”

McConaughey went on to describe service as “an investment we make in ourselves,” before commenting on his political future.

“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. It is also a path that I am choosing not to take at this moment.”

The actor said he will continue to support entrepreneurs, businesses and foundations that are “creating pathways for people to succeed, organizations that have a mission to serve and build trust while also generating prosperity. That’s the American dream.”

“Politicians — well, 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,” McConaughey insisted.

During a June appearance on The Carlos Watson Show, McConaughey shared his thoughts on entering politics, “I’m not interested in going and putting a bunch of Band-Aids on that are going to be ripped off as soon as I’m out, I’m interested in building something that can last and I’m measuring what category that is, I don’t know if that’s politics. That whole embassy of politics has some redefining of its purpose.”

In September, during an appearance on the “Set it Straight: Myths and Legends” podcast, he said he was “measuring” a run for office.

“Look, it’s going to be in some capacity… I just, I’m more a folksy and philosopher-poet statesman than I am a, per se, definitive politician,” McConaughey said. “So I go, well that’s a reason not to, but then I go, no, that’s exactly why you should. Because politics needs redefinition, but I’m measuring ‘what is my category? What’s my embassy?’”

Then again, he got a real taste for today’s politics last month when he voiced hesitation about vaccine mandates for children, insisting for the moment that he will not vaccinate his own children.

“Right now, I’m not vaccinating mine (children). I’ll tell you that,” McConaughey said, after saying he and his wife have been vaccinated, explaining that his 90-year-old at-risk mother is living with them and he “chose” to do it.

After considerable blowback, he was forced to clarify his remark, bending somewhat to say, “When asked my opinion on the subject of children and vaccination mandates I stated, ‘I couldn’t mandate it for kids just yet.’ What was not clear is that I was referring specifically to the 5-11 year old mandate. What is NOT true, and insinuated with the clickbait headlines since, is that I am against vaccinating children at all. This is false. In fact, our eldest 13-year-old son Levi is fully vaccinated for COVID-19.”

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