Actor Matthew McConaughey confirmed Friday that he is seriously considering running for governor of Texas in 2022, but acknowledged he had not yet decided whether he would “be most useful” in public office.
“It’s a very honorable consideration. So am I considering that? Sure. It’s a great thing to and an honorable thing to be able to consider,” McConaughey told Al Roker, the co-host of NBC’s “Today” show, in an interview.
“What I’ve got to choose for myself is, I want to get into a leadership role in the next chapter of my life,” he said. “Now, what role am I going to be most useful in? I don’t know that that’s in a political position or if that’s me as a free agent. So that’s something I’m personally working on, is: What is my position of most use in a leadership role?”
McConaughey — who was born in Uvalde, Texas, and attended college at the University of Texas at Austin — has previously flirted with a gubernatorial bid in his home state, most recently saying that it was “a true consideration” in an interview on “The Balanced Voice” podcast Wednesday.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has already announced he will seek a third term in next year’s election. But the incumbent Republican has become increasingly embattled in recent months, criticized for his pandemic response and handling of a winter storm that resulted in mass power outages across nearly the entire state.
Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, whose 2020 Democratic presidential candidacy floundered, has also expressed interest in running for governor. “It’s something I’m going to think about,” he told the El Paso, Texas-based KLAQ radio station in January. O’Rourke has already lost one statewide election in Texas — his high-profile 2018 Senate race against GOP Sen. Ted Cruz.
McConaughey is currently assisting with relief efforts in Texas in the aftermath of last month’s storm, as well as organizing a virtual benefit set to take place on March 21. The Academy Award-winning actor also leads the “just keep livin” foundation, which works to empower high school students. He published a memoir, "Greenlights," last year.
While on his promotional tour for that book, McConaughey offered some of his first public comments about a potential run for governor. In an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt last November, he argued that “politics seems to be a broken business” and said he “could be a hell of a lot more interested” in the job “when politics redefines its purpose.”
“I want to get behind personal values to rebind our social contracts with each other as Americans, as people again,” McConaughey said at the time, adding that it was important for the country to “stabilize first” following the 2020 election “before we start to say, ‘OK, here’s how we’re marching out of this together forward.’”
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