By EVAN SIEGEL
Beto O’Rourke, the former three-term congressman from Texas, threw his hat in the ring and announced his candidacy for president. He joins a crowded field of over a dozen Democrats looking to unseat the Republican incumbent Donald Trump. O’Rourke recently ran an unsuccessful campaign for Senate in Texas, losing to Ted Cruz.
O’Rourke’s Senate campaign was far from a complete failure, however. Running in a state usually dominated by Republicans, O’Rourke came shockingly close to defeating Cruz in a surprisingly tight race. O’Rourke famously visited all 254 counties across Texas, spending large amounts of time in unpopulated areas between El Paso and San Antonio.
O’Rourke had been serving as the congressman from the El Paso area, and announced his desire to run for the Senate in 2016. All in all, O’Rourke took over 48 percent of the vote, losing to Cruz by less than three hundred thousand votes. O’Rourke ran up the numbers considerably in the biggest urban areas of the country, specifically Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio.
O’Rourke also did very well along the border towns of Texas, which have been a consistently reliable blue area of the state. O’Rourke won over the support of Republican congressman Will Hurd, who represents a district along the border and won his midterm election by less than a thousand votes. O’Rourke’s fundraising skills have translated to the presidential campaign, so far.
Only twenty-four hours after announcing his candidacy, O’Rourke raised over six million dollars towards his run. While many members of the Democratic base are waiting for Joe Biden to announce his candidacy, O’Rourke has a substantial chance of upsetting the field and becoming the party’s nominee.