By Rachel Janfaza, CNN
Matthew Dowd, a former George W. Bush strategist and Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor in Texas, announced on Tuesday he was ending his campaign.
“A diverse field is now emerging in the Democratic primary for this office,” Dowd wrote in a statement, adding, “I do not want to be the one who stands in the way of the greater diversity we need in politics.”
Dowd — who advised presidential reelection campaign — leaves a field that includes Democratic state Rep. Michelle Beckley, one of the Texas legislators who fled to DC in an effort to block a Republican-backed elections bill over the summer, and Mike Collier, a Democrat who ran for the position in 2018.
“I have always strived to be a person of integrity by living the values I espouse,” Dowd said Tuesday when announcing his decision to leave the race, referencing an opinion piece he wrote in 2018 for ABC News titled, “Us white male Christians need to step back and give others room to lead.”
Dowd, who was previously a political analyst for ABC News, had announced in September he would run as a Democrat against Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick in next year’s midterm election. At the time, he criticized Republican politicians in Texas, singling out Patrick as “cruel and craven.”
Although Dowd hasn’t identified as a Republican in years, his candidacy was considered a recent proxy fight in the larger nationwide battle over Republicans who have attached themselves to former President Donald Trump and his brand of politics versus moderate, establishment figures such as Dowd.
While he is ending his campaign for lieutenant governor, Dowd said he is “not dropping out of politics.”
“I 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,” Dowd said, adding that he will turn his candidate campaign committee into a broader committee “to support those who step forward to serve the public with integrity.”
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