ABC News' Matthew Dowd Is Running for Lieutenant Governor of Texas as a Democrat

The former ABC News analyst and adviser to President George W. Bush hopes to unseat Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick in 2022

Matthew Dowd
Photo: Lorenzo Bevilaqua/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty

Months after stepping back from his longtime role with ABC News, Matthew Dowd is starting a new chapter in a long and varied political career that includes helping President George W. Bush successful reelection campaign.

Now, Dowd's running himself — as a Democrat — for lieutenant governor of Texas, hoping to unseat Republican Dan Patrick, whom he cast as "cruel and craven."

"I'm angry," Dowd, who worked as political analyst for ABC News for more than a decade before leaving in January, said in a video to announce his campaign. "The GOP politicians have failed us ... Dan Patrick has been lying and deceiving, fracturing the bonds we share and endangering all our lives. He does not believe in the common good. He seeks only to represent himself and the 5 percent of the state that goes along with all this."

Dowd will have challenges running as a Democrat in the 2022 election, given Texas' strong Republican roots, even as the state has increasingly become a battleground.

Patrick was first elected in 2014 and re-elected in 2018 with about 51 percent of the vote.

In his announcement video, Dowd cited Patrick's conservativsm as well as Patrick's responses to the spread of COVID-19 in Texas, mass shootings there, the failure of the state's electrical grid during a historic winter storm this year, rising health care costs and voting rights legislation as evidence that the current lieutenant governor had, in his words, failed to protect Texans.

"Enough is enough," Dowd said in the video. "We need more officials who tell the truth, who believe in public service and common sense with common decency for the common good."

In an interview with The Texas Tribune, Dowd said he hopes a Democrat will beat Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in next year's election, adding that he would "love" to work with Beto O'Rourke, whose persistent buzz hasn't yet turned into an official announcement that he'll run for the state's highest office after unsuccessfully running for the Senate and for president.

If Abbott is reelected and Dowd wins his race, "I'm gonna do everything I can to stop his continuous attack on Texans," Dowd told the Tribune.

After serving as chief strategist for Bush in his 2004 reelection campaign, Dowd split three years later with the former president (who also served as a Republican governor of Texas) over Bush's handling of the war in Iraq.

Dowd then identified as an independent, according to a bio on his campaign site. He has also worked for Democrats at the state level and, according to the Tribune, declared himself a member of that party after leaving his job at ABC News.

"Regardless of the consequences, I try to say it [like it is]. I broke with President Bush in a very public way. I criticized Donald Trump in a very public way," Dowd told the Tribune. "What I'm gonna propose is we as Democrats have to win because there's too much at stake. I serve your values."

Patrick's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Dowd's campaign.

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