Ex-Bush strategist Matthew Dowd drops bid for lieutenant governor in Texas

Matthew Dowd, the chief strategist of former President George W. Bush’s 2004 reelection campaign, dropped his bid for Texas lieutenant governor on Tuesday, pointing to an emerging field of diverse candidates vying for the No. 2 position in the Lone Star State.

In a statement announcing his decision to end his candidacy, Dowd, who was running as a Democrat, cited an opinion piece he wrote for ABC News in 2018 titled “Us white male Christians need to step back and give others room to lead.”

In the article, Dowd called for more diversity in electoral politics, writing, “White male Christians still dominate the rooms where most decisions are made. This must change in a much more dramatic way.”

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“Instead of waiting for the diverse population of America to keep pushing and prodding, I would humbly suggest that we as white male Christians take it upon ourselves to step back and give more people who don’t look like us access to the levers of power,” he added in the column.

Dowd called upon that advice on Tuesday, writing in a statement that he was ending his candidacy because “I do not want to be the one who stands in the way of the greater diversity we need in politics.”

“I have always strived to be a person of integrity by living the values I espouse. Sometimes I fall short, but each day I make every attempt to be the person I want to see in the mirror,” he added.

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When Dowd first rolled out his campaign in September, he said the only other candidate in the running was another white male Christian. Now, however, he said a diverse field is developing in the Democratic primary.

Texas State Rep. Michelle Beckley and Mike Collier, who ran for lieutenant governor in 2018, are both vying for the Democratic nomination, according to KVUE. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) is running for reelection.

Dowd said he is not leaving politics, writing that he will “continue to speak out on democracy and help elect servant leaders with common sense and common decency who believe in the common good, up and down the ballot, in Texas and across the nation.”

He said he is currently working to convert his campaign committee into a general purpose committee to bolster support for individuals who “step forward to serve the public with integrity.”