Meet Beto O’Rourke, The Texas Democrat Challenging Ted Cruz For Senate Seat

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Beto O’Rourke is the Democrat challenger to Ted Cruz for his Texas seat in the U.S. Senate. In most national elections in Texas, the Democratic nominee might not be worth noting (according to Newsweek, it’s been over two decades since a Democrat won a seat).

But this year, with the potential of a blue wave of Democratic voters, Ted Cruz has already prepared a reaction to Beto O’Rourke and came out swinging before the primary was over.

But Beto O’Rourke is preparing for the long haul, raising three times as much money as Ted Cruz did this year without accepting contributions or political action committees (PACS).

Ted Cruz Is Already Feeling Some Heat From Beto O’Rourke

But while Ted Cruz is already taking personal hits at Beto O’Rourke, the country beyond Texas wants to know, who is Beto O’Rourke?

Beto O’Rourke was born Robert Francis O’Rourke in 1972 in El Paso, Texas to an Irish-American family. Beto was the childhood nickname he received (short for Roberto), which he still goes by today. Beto O’Rourke speaks fluent Spanish, and currently serves a congressional district that is 75 percent Hispanic. And yes, he has been known as “Beto” since birth, despite what Ted Cruz has to say.

But even before the primary wrapped up Ted Cruz was warning his constituents that they can’t be complacent.

“The far left is going to show up and vote. We are already seeing in early votes right now Democratic turnout shattering records. If we know the hard left is going to show up in big, big numbers, then our job is clear—we’ve got to make sure conservatives show up in big, big numbers to keep Texas red.”

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Beto O’Rourke Is Trying To Tour All Of Texas To Meet The People He Believes Ted Cruz Has Forgotten

For the last year, Beto O’Rourke has been touring his home state, trying to meet people in all 254 counties, and at this time, he’s visited 223 of them. But Beto O’Rourke says he’s used to being on the road because it reminds him of his days as a guitarist in the band The El Paso Pussycats.

“We had been on the road nonstop for years in this sh**ty little van, playing shows in front of six people night after night. People connected to that, and that was the foundation of our success. I could be safe and not screw it up, not win but not lose. Or we could go for broke and run like there’s nothing to lose.”

But while Beto O’Rourke still admits that he’s getting his name out in Texas, his opponent, Ted Cruz, has nationwide name recognition after running for president in the 2016 Republican primary. Which is why people were puzzled when Cruz came out so hard against Beto O’Rourke on the day of the primaries before O’Rourke was even named the Democratic winner, said Nola.

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Ted Cruz Mocks The Nickname ‘Beto’ When ‘Ted’ Is Somehow A Nickname For Rafael Cruz

But Ted Cruz and his plan to mock Beto O’Rourke, saying that by using a nickname he is pretending to be something that he isn’t backfired when people asked him about his own nickname. Cruz said that Robert O’Rourke calls himself “Beto” to sound more ethnic. Cruz even launched a jingle dissing Beto O’Rourke on the day of the primary.

“Liberal Robert wanted to fit in, so he changed his name to Beto and hid it with a grin.”

In response, Beto O’Rourke posted a photo of himself as a toddler wearing a sweater which says “BETO” on it.

“My parents have called me Beto from day one, and it’s just — it’s kind of a nickname for Robert in El Paso. It just stuck.”

But Jarvis DeBerry of Nola explains that Ted Cruz is living in a nickname glass house.

“Yes, dear reader, ‘Ted’ did. Rafael Edward Cruz, who uses the non-Hispanic sounding ‘Ted’ as his nom-de-politics is accusing his opponent of crass assimilationism because his opponent is not Hispanic but uses a name that may make some people believe he is.”

But Texas Monthly says that Beto O’Rourke is shaking off jabs from Ted Cruz and plans to keep with his original plan of refusing to take PAC money. Just this week Beto O’Rourke made an appearance at SXSW to reiterate his refusal to be bought by special interest groups. Beto O’Rourke objects to the time that congressmen call “call time,” which he says takes up 40 to 50 percent of every congressperson’s time. It involves making calls to big donors and special interest groups.

“That system undermines everything in Congress. [It’s an] unconscious, perverse corruption that happens when voting as donors want you to means there’s a $10,000 check coming your way.”