Beto O’Rourke Is Considering Running For Governor Of Texas In 2022
Per Fox News, O’Rourke told Texas radio station KLAQ that he is “going to think about” launching a gubernatorial campaign next year.
O’Rourke accused the current Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, of being indifferent as Texas struggles to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
“I want to make sure that we have someone in the highest office in our state to make sure that all of us are okay. Whether I’m a candidate for governor or I support someone who’s a candidate for governor, I want to make sure that we have excellence in leadership and that excellence goes to every single part of the state, including ours.”
O’Rourke served Texas’ El Paso district in the House of Representatives for six years, from 2013 to 2019. He rose to national prominence in 2018, when he challenged Republican Sen. Ted Cruz. The Democrat raised $79 million in the race and outperformed all expectations, but Cruz ultimately won by 2.6 percent of the vote.
In 2019, O’Rourke launched his presidential campaign, entering a crowded field of candidates. He staked out controversial positions on issues such as gun control, but failed to make any significant impact and dropped out before a single vote was cast.
After dropping out, O’Rourke endorsed now-President Joe Biden over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and other contenders. This was reportedly not well received by some of his campaign staffers, who wanted him to support a more progressive White House hopeful.
Texas hasn’t had a Democratic governor since 1995. Abbott has announced that he plans to seek reelection next year and he already has a $38 million war chest to fight off O’Rourke or any other potential challenger.
Abbott’s political strategist Dave Carney welcomed O’Rourke’s desire to run for governor, suggesting that the Democrat wouldn’t stand a change against the incumbent.
“I certainly would love to run against him The guy couldn’t get elected dog catcher,” he said.
Earlier this month, however, Carney said that Abbott’s team won’t “take anything for granted” and noted that Democrats will “put a lot of effort in and they’ll raise a lot of money.”
According to KERA News, Abbott’s approval rating declined amid the coronavirus pandemic, with Democrats and some Republicans claiming that he mishandled the crisis. In recent years, Texas has inched closer to becoming purple and Democrats have made inroads with voters across the state.