Oh no, oh no, oh no.
Matthew McConaughey has decided to not run for Texas governor after all.
The Oscar winner announced on his Instagram account Sunday that elected office was a “path that I’m choosing not to take at this moment” and that he wants to focus on other ways to serve the people of his home state.
In a three-minute video, McConaughey talked about the values of service and responsibility and problems in local and national politics. He said that while he had “been considering a run for the governor of Texas” he had been out “listening and been learning, been measuring and studying Texas politics and American politics,” in an attempt to understand the issues and how best he could serve.
“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. It’s a humbling and inspiring path to ponder. It is also a path that I’m choosing not to take at this moment,” McConaughey said.
The actor added that he would “continue to work and invest the bounty I have by supporting entrepreneurs, businesses and foundations that I believe are leaders, establishments that I believe are creating pathways for people to succeed in life, organizations that have a mission to serve and build trust while also generating prosperity. That’s the American dream,” he added.
The move comes despite a Dallas Morning News poll this week showing he would beat Republican incumbent Greg Abbott by eight points in a head-to-head matchup, and also trounce declared Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke. Likewise, a July survey by the University of Texas, Tyler, suggested 44 percent of Texans would vote for McConaughey in a hypothetical election versus just 35 percent for Abbott, with 54 percent believing the state was “on the wrong track.”
McConaughey was facing a state-mandated deadline of Dec. 13 to decide whether to enter the race.
Even before the most recent round of polls, local political experts had declared the actor stood a good chance of winning. “Traditional political folks will criticize him by saying that nobody knows where he stands,” Texas political consultant Keir Murray told THR in October. “But for a true outsider candidate, it’s actually advantageous. It’s a blank canvas to paint a candidacy, and it’s harder to be defined out of the gate — unlike Beto, who has a record of his positions.”
But opinions and hypothetical polls and do not necessarily reflect the reality of running a campaign. And insiders have warned that McConaughey would heavily risk his brand and acting career if he were to run – not to mention, a considerable amount of his free time. “He’s got a positive and favorable brand, but as soon as you dip your toe in the political pool, people start to hate you,” Murray said. “Does he want to change that brand and damage it? Because that’s inevitable.”
In addition to his acting gigs, McConaughey is also already heavily involved in his foundation, Just Keep Livin’, which helps underprivileged high school students. His upcoming acting slate, however, appears relatively open, with just the animated Sing 2 confirmed for Dec. 22.
Watch McConaughey’s full video below.