The Oscar-winning actor has openly flirted with a 2022 run for governor in Texas

By Sean Neumann
May 17, 2021 03:13 PM
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matthew mcconaughey
Matthew McConaughey

While Matthew McConaughey explores the idea of running for governor of Texas next year, the leader of the state's Democratic Party said they would embrace the celebrity candidate with open arms.

Gilberto Hinojosa, the chair of the Texas Democratic Party, told Politico on Monday that their party would "welcome him" if he ultimately decided to run.

"He's young, good-looking, smart and has a little wildness — but this is Texas," Hinojosa said. "We like that stuff." 

McConaughey, 51, has repeatedly teased the idea that he'll run for governor in 2022, against incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican.

Politico reported that the Dallas Buyers Club star has also been privately making calls to influential political figures in the state to test the waters.

"He has not reached out to the party that I know of," Hinojosa told the outlet. "It's absolutely up in the air."

Hinojosa told TMZ last month that he believes the Academy Award-winning actor could beat Abbott, who was first elected in 2014.

Matthew McConaughey
Matthew McConaughey
| Credit: Cindy Ord/Getty

McConaughey has spoken out more and more about politics in recent months surrounding the 2020 election, but has remained remarkably neutral and provided voters with a flavorless political profile.

"I don't get politics," McConaughey told Stephen Colbert on The Late Show last November. "Politics seems to be a broken business. Politics needs to redefine its purpose."

Nonetheless, the Oscar winner said in March that running for governor is "a true consideration."

"I'm looking into now again, 'what is my leadership role?' " McConaughey told The Balanced Voice podcast. "Because I do think I have some things to teach and share. What is my role, what is my category in my next chapter of life that I'm going into now?"

Despite the actor's shrugging interest in holding office, his open consideration for a run has gained national headlines and attention from the biggest name in Texas politics.

Former President George W. Bush told the Today show in late April that he has "no idea" if McConaughey would run for office, but warned: "It's a tough business."

Matthew McConaughey
Matthew McConaughey
| Credit: Noam Galai/Getty

McConaughey hasn't signaled yet whether he'd run as a Republican, Democrat or as an independent — if he decided to throw his hat in the ring.

In December, McConaughey sounded off on both "the extreme left and the extreme right" during an appearance on Fox News radio, while previously telling the network that he'd describe himself as "aggressively centric."

In November, the actor would not tell Fox News who he was voting for in the 2020 election, saying: "I've thought about it and I'm keeping that to myself."

McConaughey has become a popular figure in Texas.

The actor's alma mater, the University of Texas, named him the school's "Minister of Culture" and brought him on as a professor in the college of communications.

He and wife Camila Alves still live in Austin, Texas, and have taken on a number of humanitarian projects — including their "just keep livin" foundation, which helped aid local residents impacted by February's deadly winter storm.