Matthew Dowd, a former strategist for George W. Bush and political analyst for ABC News, is running for lieutenant governor in Texas as a Democrat.
Dowd, who broke publicly with the Republican party in 2007, announced his campaign with a two-minute video set in Wimberley, Texas and an interview with the Texas Tribune. In the video, Dowd sports a baseball cap and recites a laundry list of criticisms of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, the Republican who has held the post since 2015.
“The GOP politicians have failed us, especially the cruel and craven lieutenant governor,” he said in the video. “Dan Patrick has been lying, deceiving, fracturing the bonds we share and endangering all of our lives.”
Before he’ll have the chance to run against Patrick, Dowd would likely face Mike Collier in a Democratic primary election for the position. Collier, the 2018 Democratic nominee who came within five points of Patrick, said in April that he is planning to run again for the post.
In the months since leaving his position as the chief political analyst at ABC News, Dowd has ramped up his public criticism of Republican leaders in Texas. He told Texas Monthly in August that he was considering a run for a statewide seat in 2022, but at the time had just ruled out a run for governor.
“I don’t want to get in a debate in a governor’s race, which would become exceedingly high intensity, about “the former Bush guy,” “the former Republican” running,” he said in the interview.
Dowd was a Texas Democrat for years, working for then-U.S. Rep. J.J. Pickle, U.S. Sen. Lloyd Benson and Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock, all Democrats.
But in 2000, Dowd went on to advise Gov. George W. Bush in his presidential campaign. In 2004, he was the chief strategist for Bush’s successful reelection campaign.
In 2007, he broke publicly with Bush and the Republican party, largely over the president’s handling of the Iraq War. He then became a political analyst for ABC News, where he worked until January of this year.
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Now, Dowd’s sights are set on Patrick, the firebrand conservative who presides over the state Senate and chaired both of Trump’s presidential campaigns in Texas.
Patrick has moved the Senate further to the right on several issues and this year shepherded significant conservative measures through the Legislature, including proposals to allow for the permitless carry of handguns, to rewrite the state’s election laws and to prohibit most abortions in the state.
Dowd cited those bills in his campaign video, stating that Patrick “waged a culture war” and has tied the hands of local officials responding to the coronavirus pandemic.
He also criticized the work Patrick did in response to the statewide power outages during February winter storms, arguing that “he didn’t protect us.”
“Enough is enough,” Dowd said in his campaign video. “We need more officials who tell the truth, who believe in public service and common sense and common decency for the common good.”
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