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McConaughey gauging interest in run for Texas governor: report

Actor Matthew McConaughey has reportedly been calling people influential in Texas politics to gauge their interest in him running for governor.

Politico, citing multiple people familiar with the conversations, reported that the calls included a wealthy moderate Republican and energy CEO.

The Academy Award-winning actor said in March that he was seriously considering throwing his hat into the ring.

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Gov. Greg Abbott (R) is up for reelection in 2022 and has been facing criticism following his handling of the mass power outages in February, which were caused by harsh winter weather conditions.

Political strategists, however, are skeptical that McConaughey will give up his image as a beloved cultural icon in Texas, Politico reported. Additionally, operatives do not see a path forward for the actor, considering Abbott’s strong support among the business community and his millions of dollars in the bank.

The state political class, nonetheless, is keeping a close eye on McConaughey, according to Politico.

The Hill reached out to McConaughey for comment.

And while operatives may not see a path forward for McConaughey, Texans have signaled that they would support the acclaimed actor if he were to run.

In a poll released by The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler last month, more Texans said they would back McConaughey than Abbott at the ballot box.

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The poll found that 45 percent of registered voters in Texas said they would likely support McConaughey if he were to run, while only 33 percent said they would back Abbott for another term.

Slightly less than a quarter of all respondents said they would opt for someone else.

Abbott, however, still has a 77 percent approval rating among Republicans, according to the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin.

Politico reported that, according to one person familiar with McConaughey’s conversations, the discussions involving the actor’s potential run sparked after the release of that poll.

Former Texas state Sen. Don Huffines (R) jumped into the Republican primary race last week.