Beto O’Rourke’s bid for governor

Sarah Allard, Writer

El Paso native and former representative for Texas’s 16th congressional district, Beto O’Rourke, has announced his bid as the Democratic candidate for Governor of Texas. Prior to announcing his candidacy in November of 2021, O’Rourke has also run for the Texas senate seat in 2018 and was a Democratic presidential candidate in 2020. In the 2022 gubernatorial race, he faces opposition from Republican incumbent Greg Abbott.

O’Rourke was born and raised in El Paso. He grew up surrounded by politics as he was born into a family that was prominent in local government Throughout his youth, O’Rourke is most notably known for associating with punk movements and culture as well as playing in punk and post-hardcore bands during his formative years. O’Rourke’s hometown and association with alternative culture are noted as defining traits of his generally liberal platform.

In 2011, he ran to represent Texas’ 16th Congressional District in the House of Representatives. O’Rourke served in the House until 2018, then chose to run for the U.S. Senate seat which he lost to incumbent Ted Cruz. In early 2019 he announced his candidacy for president of the United States but dropped out of the race that November.

O’Rourke has also founded the Political Action Committee, Powered by People which organizes volunteers throughout Texas to encourage eligible Texans to exercise their right to vote.

O’Rourke has stated that he is specifically opposing Republican incumbent Greg Abbott in this campaign, citing the Texas freeze of 2021 and subsequent power grid crash as a failure he plans to rectify if he is elected. In addition, he has stated that he disapproves of Abbott’s abortion and firearms policies. O’Rourke has also previously stated that he is in favor of the legalization of Marijuana as well as increasing Medicaid coverage and funding to public schools.

According to a survey conducted by the University of Texas at Austin, O’Rourke is currently trailing Abbott by about 9%, but it is still too early in the race for an accurate poll. The Democratic primary will take place on March 1, 2022, and will determine whether O’Rourke will face the Republican candidate in the general election on November 15, 2022.