Beto O’Rourke, who gave Ted Cruz a run for his money in his race for the U.S. Senate in 2018, announced he’s entering the presidential race.
O’Rourke made the announcement in a straightforward video next to his wife Amy. He’s scheduled to sit down for an interview to be aired Friday with Gayle King on CBS This Morning.
The NYT reports: “His decision jolts an early election season already stuffed with contenders, adding to the mix a relentless campaigner with a small-dollar fund-raising army, the performative instincts of a former punk rocker and a pro-immigrant vision to counteract President Trump’s. Yet Mr. O’Rourke also comes to the 2020 race with few notable legislative accomplishments after three terms in the House representing El Paso….”
FiveThirtyEight reports: ‘O’Rourke’s national appeal to Democrats might be that he could push progressive boundaries and motivate a minority community without alienating independent white suburban voters. This “woke whiteness” factor — the idea that progressive white men in particular might be able to say and do things that minority candidates couldn’t get away with — certainly seems to be an implicit part of O’Rourke’s appeal. Another plus for O’Rourke is his fundraising prowess: In 2018, O’Rourke raised around $80 million for his Senate campaign, $37 million of which came from donations of $200 or less. National interest in his campaign led to around $20 million in out-of-state donations.’
O’Rourke joins a widening field of Democrats who have announced exploratory committees including Cory Booker, Jay Inslee, Pete Buttigieg, Julian Castro, former U.S. Rep John Delaney, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, John Hickenlooper, Senator Kamala Harris, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Bill Weld, Marianne Williamson, and entrepreneur Andrew Yang.
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has also announced plans to explore a run as a centrist independent.