Robert “Beto” O’Rourke is running for Texas governor. The campaign will be the former El Paso congressman’s third in four years; he lost the other two.
I’m running for governor.
Together, we can push past the small and divisive politics that we see in Texas today — and get back to the big, bold vision that used to define Texas. A Texas big enough for all of us.
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) November 15, 2021
“I’m running to serve the people of Texas, and I want to make sure that we have a governor that serves everyone, helps to bring this state together to do the really big things before us and get past the small, divisive politics and policies of Greg Abbott,” O’Rourke told The Texas Tribune. “It is time for change. I want to serve this state and try to bring the people of Texas together to do some of the really big work that is before us and get past this smallness and divisiveness that Greg Abbott has brought to Texas.”
His 2018 U.S. Senate opponent welcomed him to the race Monday.
With Beto’s unsurprising announcement of yet another failed political run, it seems like a good time to reprise a classic: pic.twitter.com/IxTmFjNE7Y
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) November 15, 2021
O’Rourke’s entry could be good news for Republicans overall, too, since millions of Democrat donor dollars will be thrown at his campaign instead of elsewhere around the U.S.
The 49-year-old ran unsuccessfully in 2018 against Sen. Ted Cruz, then made a disastrous presidential bid less than a year later, suspending his campaign more than three months before the Iowa caucuses.
O’Rourke’s presidential run revealed many stances that can hurt him in Texas, including radical anti-gun rhetoric, bizarre immigration proposals, and far-left positions on social issues.
Democrats hoped the Lone Star state would turn blue last presidential election for the first time in more than four decades, but then-President Donald Trump easily won the state, and Republican Sen. John Cornyn prevailed by 10 points in his race. No Democrat has won statewide office in Texas since 1994.
O’Rourke, who’s shown scant interest in border security, is running at a time when illegal immigration is setting records at the Texas-Mexico border.
Good morning from La Joya, TX, where once again, 100+ migrants have already crossed illegally in this spot this morning and more are coming. Lots of teens and children in this group. @FoxNews pic.twitter.com/umvsx9eZm1
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) November 15, 2021
Democrats Michael Cooper, who previously ran for lieutenant governor, and Deirdre Gilbert, a teacher from Houston, are also confirmed to run.
O’Rourke told Texas Monthly that he can overcome what he calls the tough political climate in the state. He pointed to high voter turnout during his 2018 U.S. Senate run.
“I want to build on that and I want to bring even more people in and I really want to make sure that it is not Democrats versus Republicans,” O’Rourke added. “Not only is that a not winning strategy for me as a candidate, that’s not a winning strategy for us as a country.”