Is Matthew McConaughey running for governor of Texas? Maybe. What we know about his interest in politics
Alright, alright, alright. Matthew McConaughey’s potential role as Texas governor is getting quite the buzz.
Unlike fellow celebrity turned politician Caitlyn Jenner who announced she would be running for governor of California, the “Dallas Buyers Club” actor hasn’t officially announced a campaign for a Texas run. However, he is leading in one gubernatorial poll, has been quoted as “considering” the job and has even gotten advice from former Texas governor and President George W. Bush about holding a public office.
“I’ll just tell you this, it’s tough business,” Bush said of McConaughey’s potential run on the “Today” show on April 20.
Still “Dazed and Confused?” Here’s everything we know about McConaughey’s interest in politics.
Is McConaughey running for Texas governor?
As of right now, no. In a March interview with the Austin American-Statesman, part of the USA TODAY network, he said he would “be a fool not to consider” the position.
“I am considering, as I said I’d be a fool not to, to consider the honor to go into the position of politics, as the governor of Texas,” McConaughey said. “But I honestly have to ask myself, ‘How can I be most useful?’ And maybe that’s as a free agent.”
McConaughey was clear that he is not running right now.
“I would say, as far as running, I’m not until I am. So my decision hasn’t changed because I’m still not.”
\Matthew McConaughey speaks onstage during HISTORYTalks Leadership & Legacy presented by HISTORY at Carnegie Hall on February 29, 2020 in New York City. (Photo: Noam Galai, Getty Images for HISTORY)
Is McConaughey a Republican or a Democrat?
He says he is neither. McConaughey describes his party affiliation as “aggressively centric.”
“Look, I’m a ‘Meet You in the Middle’ man. When I say ‘aggressively centric,’ that sometimes gets parceled over there with ‘Oh, that’s a shade of grey, a compromise,’ ” he told the Statesman.
In the past, McConaughey has spoken out against political extremes.
“You need liberals. What I don’t think we need is the illiberals, and what I don’t think that some liberals see is that they’re often being cannibalized by the illiberals,” he said on “Good Morning Britain” in December.
“Now, you know, there are extremes on both sides that I think are unfair — that I don’t think are the right place to be,” he continued. “The extreme left and the extreme right completely illegitimize the other side … or they exaggerate that side’s stance into an irrational state that makes no sense.”
Would people vote for McConaughey?
According to a poll taken from registered voters in Texas, yes.
A gubernatorial poll published April 18 by The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler shows the Oscar-winning actor with more support from Texas constituents than the current governor, Greg Abbott.
In a hypothetical contest, McConaughey garners 45% support, with Abbott getting 33% and 22% saying they would vote for someone else, according to the poll.
The majority of McConaughey’s support came from the Democratic respondents, 66% of whom chose McConaughey over the other two possibilities, with 44% of independents doing the same, and 30% of Republican voters saying they would vote for the actor over the governor or an unspecified third party.
Matthew McConaughey celebrates on the Texas Longhorns sideline in the second half against the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on November 29, 2019 in Austin, Texas. (Photo: Tim Warner, Getty Images)
What is McConaughey’s connection to Texas?
McConaughey is a born and bred Texan. He was born in Uvalde, Texas, which is a little more 100 miles outside of Austin, where he attended college at the University of Texas. He didn’t just attend: In 2018, he became the “Minister of Culture” for the university’s basketball team.
“It’s time to raise the bar. It’s time to excel, on the court and in the stands. It’s time for an authentic home court advantage for our Longhorn basketball teams,” McConaughey said in a news release.
In addition to Longhorn basketball, he is also the “Minister of Culture” for Austin’s Football Club. A position he takes “at the ground level.”
“(Soccer) is just a great uniter,” he said. “Austin is a diverse city that already is a soccer town. We’re relentlessly optimistic. They’ve never had a team to root for. It’s the world’s game.”
What else is McConaughey up to?
He has taken an interest in public service. After Texas was hit by a severe winter storm in February, the “Interstellar” actor andhis wife Camilateamed up with a Texas relief fund for a virtual benefit concert “We’re Texas” to help Texans recover.
The two-hour event included testimonies and musical performances from Texans and Texas transplants alike. The event raised more than $132,000 by the end of the night from viewer donations and even more from sponsors and special guests.
McConaughey looked presidential when he announced the virtual benefit in an Instagram post while sitting in front of an American flag saying, “I’m going to be making daily posts letting people know how to keep safe during this time, find resources, help volunteer and support others.”
Fans and followers in the comments voiced encouragement for McConaughey to pursue office.
“McConaughey for Senate!” @bassrunnerbw said.
Another comment read, “(Let me know) when you run for office — you need troops with their boots on the ground and I’ll be that guy.”
“Run for governor,” @amandapallanez wrote. @mrssabrinaferr took it a step further writing “Matthew for president.”
Matthew McConaughey as Ron Woodroof and Jennifer Garner as Dr. Eve Saks in a scene from "Dallas Buyers Club." (Photo: Annie Marie Fox, Focus Features)
Does McConaughey have any upcoming movies?
The actor is returning as Buster Moon in the animated sequel “Sing 2,” arriving Dec. 22. McConaughey voices the gung-ho koala, who hosts an “American Idol” type show where animated animals show off their best singing voices.
McConaughey may also be tapped to star as lawyer Jake Brigance (again) in a film adaptation to the “sort of” sequel to the 1996 adaptation of John Grisham’s “A Time to Kill.” According to reports from Variety and Deadline in March, McConaughey is slated for the HBO adaptation of the book.
In the meantime, fans can revisit some of the actor’s best movies: “Dazed and Confused” (Amazon Prime), “Dallas Buyers Club” (Hulu and Amazon Prime), “The Wolf of Wall Street” (Amazon Prime), “Interstellar” (Hulu) and “Kubo and the Two Strings” (Amazon Prime and Apple TV).
'Greenlights' by Matthew McConaughey (Photo: Penguin Random House)
McConaughey has also written a book
McConaughey in October released his book “Greenlights,” an unconventional and candid memoir filled with raucous stories and hard-won wisdom about living life to its fullest.
“I did a huge amount of laughing with myself when writing, I did a huge amount of crying – most of my tears came from being able to go back and feel the love that my family had that my mom and dad had for each other, that they had for us,” he said.
5 books not to miss: Matthew McConaughey’s memoir ‘Greenlights,’ epic Sylvia Plath bio
Contributing: Barbara VanDenburgh, Morgan Hines, Matthew Odam and Bryan Alexander
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