Matt Martindale, a Republican running for Randall County Court-at-Law #2, is dispelling rumors that an endorsement he received from screen actor Matthew McConaughey was fabricated by his campaign.
Martindale, a musician and Amarillo attorney, was named in an endorsement run in the Amarillo Globe-New on Sunday. On Sunday, the full page ad was said to be an endorsement signed by Matthew McConaughey promoting Martindale for the job. At the end of the ad, the letter was disclaimed to be paid for by "Just Keep Livin."
In an interview with the Amarillo Pioneer, Martindale says that McConaughey talked to him ahead of time about the advertisement but that his campaign did not collaborate on what the endorsement would say.
"Matthew and I have been longtime friends and I did not ask him for that," Martindale said. "He asked me if it would be alright if he did something like that."
Martindale said that the endorsement honored him and that McConaughey has always been someone who has encouraged him in his endeavors.
"I've been ambitious all my life and he sent me a famous quote 'love what you do and you'll never work a day in your life,'" Martindale said. "He's always been supportive of me."
No mentions of an endorsement have been made on any of McConaughey's social media pages, as of Monday afternoon.
The advertisement appeared to be paid for by "Just Keep Livin." The only entity registered as "Just Keep Livin" is a 501(c)3 organization started by McConaughey called the Just Keep Livin Foundation. Rumors then surfaced that the ad was not actually from McConaughey, as the foundation is ineligible under Internal Revenue Service code to participate in political activity. However, Martindale dispelled the rumors saying that the ad was indeed from the Academy Award winner.
"It was definitely from Matthew," Martindale said. "It would be unethical of me to do something like that."
The Just Keep Livin Foundation did not return our request for comment.
While some are impressed with Martindale's endorsement, others have decried it as downstate influence in local elections. One of Martindale's opponents, Amarillo attorney James Abbott, said that the ad was an example of such influence in Amarillo's elections.
"My opponent has received the endorsements of the Teamsters and Matthew McConaughey's Just Keep Livin Foundation," Abbott said in a statement to the Amarillo Pioneer. "I have received the endorsement of the Amarillo Taxpayers PAC because I am the conservative choice when it comes to taxpayer's money. I'll take that endorsement over a bunch of Austin liberals any day of the week."
McConaughey is an Academy-Award winning actor who has appeared in multiple critically-acclaimed films. McConaughey won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 2014 for portraying Ron Woodroof in "Dallas Buyers Club." McConaughey has also been nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his role in the hit HBO series "True Detective."
Martindale is facing Abbott and attorney Stewart R. Werner in the March 6th Republican primary election. The Republican nominee will be the only candidate advancing to the November election.