Democrat Beto O’Rourke running for Texas governor in 2022
PAUL J. WEBER, Associated Press
Nov. 15, 2021|Updated: Nov. 15, 2021 2:37 p.m.
Democrat Beto O’Rourke listens to a volunteer before a Texas Organizing Project neighborhood walk in West Dallas on June 9, 2021. O’Rourke is running for governor of Texas. The former El Paso congressman announced his decision Monday. It kicks off O’Rourke’s third run for office in as many election cycles after a narrow loss for U.S. Senate in 2018 and a short-lived presidential run in 2020.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Democrat Beto O’Rourke is running for governor of Texas, pursuing a blue breakthrough in America’s biggest red state after his star-making U.S. Senate campaign in 2018 put him closer than anyone else in decades.
O’Rourke’s announcement Monday kicks off a third run for office in as many election cycles. He burst into the 2020 Democratic presidential primary as a party phenomenon but dropped out just eight months later as money and fanfare dried up.
“It’s not going to be easy. But it is possible,” O’Rourke said in an interview with The Associated Press ahead of his announcement. “I do believe, very strongly, from listening to people in this state that they’re very unhappy with the direction that (Gov.) Greg Abbott has taken Texas.”
O’Rourke’s return sets up one of 2022’s highest-profile — and potentially most expensive — races for governor. Abbott, a Republican, is seeking a third term and has put Texas on the vanguard of hard-right policymaking in state capitals and emerged as a national figure. A challenge from O’Rourke, a media-savvy former congressman with a record of generating attention and cash, could tempt Democrats nationwide to pour millions of dollars into trying — again — to flip Texas.
Still, O’Rourke is coming back an underdog. Although the state’s growing population of Latino, young and college-educated voters is good for Democrats, the party’s spending blitz in the 2020 presidential election left them with nothing.
Texas has not elected a Democratic governor since Ann Richards in 1990. And freshly gerrymandered political maps, signed into law by Abbott in October, bolster Republicans’ standing in booming suburban districts that have been drifting away from the party. That could mean fewer competitive races and lower turnout.
The tasseled blobfish needs money.
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