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AUSTIN (KXAN) — After ruling out a run for governor, speculation is ramping up again that Texas voters may see Matthew McConaughey’s name appear on their ballots sometime in the future.
The Oscar-winning actor appeared earlier this week on an episode of the “SmartLess” podcast with Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes and Will Arnett to promote his new picture book called “Just Because.” Their discussion, though, turned to politics after McConaughey talked about his Greenlights Grant Initiative, which is a national program he launched connecting school districts to available federal school safety funding.
Hayes asked, almost as an aside, whether McConaughey would ever revisit running for a political office in Texas — or even president of the United States.
“It’s not something I want to visit now because of what I said earlier,” McConaughey responded. “I’m raising three children right now. It’s a great adventure doing that, and I want to see that through.”
He added he often considers where he would be most useful and would still enjoy himself.
“I’m an artist. I’m a storyteller. I’m a folk singer,” he said. “[Are] those parts of me that could be useful in a political position of leadership, to be the CEO of a state or country? Maybe.”
His responses during the podcast mirrored what he said at the end of 2021 when he shared he would ultimately not jump into the gubernatorial race against Gov. Greg Abbott. This came after months of hinting that he might seek the state’s top elected position. Polls even showed he would be competitive running against Abbott. However, he announced he would rather focus on his children, his organizations and foundations for the time being.
“Raising my three kids right now is a hard but fair fight,” McConaughey said on the podcast episode. “Going into politics right now is a hard and unfair fight. Let me go win my priority non-negotiable fair fights first, and then let me out back.”
While it remains unclear which office McConaughey might possibly seek in the future, another Texas political figure suggested this week he may have another elected position in mind. In his first remarks since his impeachment acquittal, Attorney General Ken Paxton said he may be the person to challenge Sen. John Cornyn in 2026.
“Everything’s on the table for me,” Paxton said when former Fox News host Tucker Carlson suggested he should run.