Beto O’Rourke, the Texas Democrat who narrowly misplaced a U.S. Senate election to Ted Cruz in November, introduced he was operating for President in a video posted online on Thursday.
“I’m operating to serve you as the following President of the USA of America,” he stated. On the identical day, O’Rourke launched into a street journey throughout Iowa — an early and vital caucus state — spanning three days and greater than a dozen counties.
“That is going to be a constructive marketing campaign that seeks to convey out the easiest from each single one among us,” he stated, proven within the video sitting beside his spouse Amy. “That seeks to unite a really divided nation.”
The 46-year-old served three phrases within the Home of Representatives after defeating eight-term incumbent Silvestre Reye within the 2012 Democratic major. Earlier than the upset, O’Rourke was an El Paso metropolis councilman, member of a punk band and the founding father of a small net and software program firm. He graduated from Columbia College with a bachelor’s diploma in English literature.
Alongside the marketing campaign path, O’Rourke can be competing towards extra seasoned politicians equivalent to Sens. Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand and Elizabeth Warren. Former Vice President Joe Biden may be a part of the race.
O’Rourke’s choice to run for President just isn’t a shock to those that have been following him. In late February, he said he and his spouse had “decided about how we will greatest serve our nation” and have been “excited to share it with everybody quickly.” Although, operating for President was not the one path folks thought he may take: some predicted he may attempt to run for the Senate once more, this time towards Republican John Cornyn. Others thought he may strive be a part of an present ticket as a vice presidential operating mate.
Not all too dissimilar from former President Barack Obama, the Texan gained nationwide identify recognition comparatively shortly. He raised an eye-popping $80 million over the course of his 2018 marketing campaign — greater than double that of his Republican opponent, Sen. Ted Cruz.
In that race, he campaigned on a platform that included elevated background checks for gun gross sales, expanded Medicaid entry and instituting congressional time period limits. Cruz finally beat O’Rourke by less than than 3%, however the race was shut in a state that hasn’t elected a Democrat statewide since 1994. By comparability, Cruz gained his final Senate election by more than 15% in 2012.
He’s not with out controversy, nevertheless. In 1998, O’Rourke was arrested for crashing a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. The costs have been dismissed after he accomplished a court-ordered academic program. He’s emphatically apologized for the indiscretion since, calling it a “severe mistake for which there isn’t any excuse” in an August 2018 op-ed.
However O’Rourke, a father of three, has additionally been criticized for the soul-searching journey he took after his 2018 loss.
“Have been caught currently. Out and in of a funk,” he wrote in a blog post on Medium. “Perhaps if I get shifting, on the street, meet folks, study what’s happening the place they dwell, have some journey, go the place I don’t know and I’m not identified, it’ll clear my head, reset, I’ll assume new ideas, escape of the loops I’ve been caught in.
Not everyone thought his public musings would have been perceived the identical had he not been a white male.
“Think about this,” wrote senior CNN political reporter Nia-Malika Henderson in January, “a 46-year-old former congresswoman and mom of three, who simply misplaced a Senate bid to one of the vital despised incumbents, units off on a street journey journey to clear her head. She instagrams a part of her journey to the dentist. She offers a two-hour interview to The Washington Publish the place she reveals no actual information of coverage. Like a first-year school pupil, she pontificates on whether or not the Structure continues to be a factor that issues in spite of everything these a few years,” she continued.
No matter impressions, nevertheless, the chances have by no means been extra stacked towards him.
When TIME profiled O’Rourke in May 2018, a good friend of his advised TIME that “nobody thought he may win” again in his first congressional race. “However he’ll out-work anybody,” that good friend stated.
With an enormous Democratic enjoying subject and roughly 600 days till the 2020 election, now that declare will actually be put to the take a look at.