Matthew Dowd has ended his campaign to become Lieutenant Governor of Texas in order to "step back" and make room for non-white candidates. Dowd, who is a white man, appears to believe that his presence in the race would make it harder for candidates of color to win the race.
In a December 7 statement, Dowd referenced a 2018 column of his entitled "Us white male Christians need to step back and give others room to lead."
In a justification for his dropping out of the race, he quoted the column, saying "We as white male Christians should do what real leadership demands and practice a level of humility which demonstrates strength by stepping back from the center of the room and begin to give up our seats at the table. We should make this move not because we feel threatened, but because we know it is morally right and it is what would help America in this troubling time."
Dowd said that a sign of good white male leaders are those that "make themselves dispensable. And that is what me and my fellow white male Christians must do more often." Dowd used to be a national news commentator for ABC and was a strategist in the George W. Bush administration.
Dowd is stepping back from the election on the basis that a person of his race, he believes, should not be the one that becomes Lt. Governor.
"I do not want to be the one who stands in the way of the greater diversity we need in politics," Dowd wrote. Dan Patrick, current Lt. Governor and a Republican, will be running against the winner of the Democratic primary in the state.
Of Patrick, Dowd said he "has failed our state and harmed Texans. He seeks to undermine important rights of our fellow citizens and must be defeated." But Dowd will not be the one to do it. However, he writes that he will "do whatever I can to accomplish that end now as a Texan not running for office."
Mike Collier, another white man, is also running for the Democratic nomination to be Lt. Governor of Texas. The date of the primary is March 1, 2022.
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson found Dowd's removing himself from the campaign on the basis of his skin color to be extremely offensive. He wrote "I'm confused and a little disturbed by the reasoning here. Campaigns are precisely for the purpose of selecting the BEST candidate. It seems my friend is saying that Democratic primary voters are incapable of nominating women and minorities if there is a white man on the ballot?"
Johnson, a Democrat, had harsh words for Dowd, saying further that Dowd's stance was essentially racist in that he believes that a black candidate can't succeed if Dowd and his white skin are in the race.
"If this is in fact the case," Johnson tweeted, "then shame on the Democratic primary voters who are incapable of voting for women and minority candidates if presented with a white male alternative. But for white male candidates to stop running as Democrats to 'give us a chance' feels wrong to me."
"The problem is NOT white men running for office," Johnson continued. "The problem is the 800 lb gorilla in the room, which is the racism within the Democratic Party that many pretend doesn’t exist. So the solution isn’t folks like Dowd 'yielding' to candidates of color. It's addressing the racism."
Johnson referenced an article from The Texas Tribune that pointed out that "Republicans are making a play to be more competitive with voters of color as the state’s electorate grows more diverse," in than the GOP is fielding more candidates of color that Texas Democrats are, despite the latter's incessant virtue-signaling to racial diversity.
The Tribute writes "with less than a month left for candidates to file for statewide office in the 2022 elections, some in the party worry Democrats could see their appeal with those constituencies threatened by a Republican Party that is rapidly diversifying its own candidate pool."
"By contrast," they write, "the Democrats’ most formidable candidates are white — Beto O’Rourke, who is running for governor, and Mike Collier, Matthew Dowd and Michelle Beckley, who are running for lieutenant governor."
"We need to look at that and need to do an introspection as to why there’s a lack of diversity at the top of the ticket," said Odus Evbagharu, chair of the Harris County Democratic Party. "We need to do better. We’ve gotta cultivate our bench."