TEXAS VIEW: Governor Matthew? Actor said to be serious about running in Texas

THE POINT: It sounded like a joke when the rumors first started going around.

Texas-born actor Matthew McConaughey running for governor of the Lone Star State?

The Oscar-winning actor is reportedly making calls to wealthy moderate Republicans around the state to gauge his chances — and round up potential donors — should he go up against incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott.

McConaughey would be a long shot. Abbott has pretty good approval numbers and a lot of campaign cash in the bank. And the actor’s image is, well, more counterculture than mainstream.

It’s not unheard of for entertainers to turn to politics. Singer Jimmie Davis was governor of Louisiana. Wrestler Jesse Ventura did the same in Minnesota. Bodybuilder and action star Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected governor of California. And then there was a fellow named Ronald Reagan. He went pretty far.

It’s not unheard of in Texas, either. We recall back in the 2006 election when singer-songwriter Kinky Friedman made a stab at the governor’s mansion. He even came to Texarkana, entertaining a crowd at the old Cinema 218 downtown with his quick wit. He probably gained a few supporters while he was here.

But fame and wit only get you so far. Friedman didn’t win the race. Texas voters opted for business as usual and re-elected Gov. Rick Perry.

Maybe McConaughey stands a chance. Maybe not. But in any case, celebrities always liven up an election.

Texarkana Gazette