The actor and author Matthew McConaughey announced on Sunday that he will not be running for governor of Texas, two weeks after Beto O’Rourke declared his candidacy against Gov. Greg Abbott.
In a video posted on Twitter and Instagram, McConaughey described running for governor as a “humbling and inspiring path to ponder,” but concluded that “it is also a path that I’m choosing not to take at this moment.”
In lieu of a gubernatorial run, McConaughey said that he would continue to support “entrepreneurs, businesses and foundations that I believe are leaders” and “creating pathways for people to succeed in life.”
The decision brings an end to months of speculation about McConaughey’s political ambitions in Texas after he publicly signaled interest in launching a gubernatorial campaign earlier this year. Mr. McConaughey had not previously indicated whether he would run for governor as a Republican or a Democrat.
McConaughey’s announcement comes about two weeks before the candidate filing deadline for the Texas primary in March, 2022. The election itself is scheduled for November 8, 2022. Abbott, who has been governor since 2014, is seeking a third term in a state where no Democrat has won a statewide election since 1994. He has drawn several primary challengers from his own party, including Daniel Harrison, Donald Huffines, Chad Prather, and former chairman of the Republican Party of Texas Allen B. West. Meanwhile, Democratic candidates Larry Baggett, Michael Cooper, and Deirdre Dickson-Gilbert were recently joined by former El Paso congressman and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke.