Former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke has announced he will run for president, joining an ever expanding field for the Democrats in the 2020 primary race.
O’Rourke rose to national prominence by taking on Senator Ted Cruz, to whom he narrowly lost. Talk of a possible presidential run started as soon as that race ended, with the former punk musician noted for his charisma and ability to raise money from small donors.
The 46-year-old also has a strong progressive platform, in a primary field that is already more left leaning than we have seen in the past. In particular, O’Rourke has pushed a pro-immigration, unity-based message that seeks to unite the country.
Despite his momentum, he will face a difficult path to the nomination, and not only because of the plethora of choices for Democratic voters. He may have name recognition, but so too do candidates Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Cory Booker. And after just three terms in the House, he has few legislative success stories. He will also have to convince the Democrats that he is the best option in a field that is marked by diverse candidates.
“This is a defining moment of truth for this country, and for every single one of us,” O’Rourke said in a video message announcing his candidacy.
“The challenges that we face right now: The interconnected crises in our economy, our democracy, and our climate have never been greater. And they will either consume us, or they will afford us the greatest opportunity to unleash the genius of the United States of America. In other words, this moment of peril produces perhaps the greatest moment of promise for this country and everyone inside of it.”
“This is going to be a positive campaign, that seeks to bring out the very best in every single one of us; that seeks to unite a very divided country,” O’Rourke added. “We saw the power of this in Texas, where people allowed no difference, however great or however small, to stand between them and divide us. Whether it was religion, or gender, or income, or geography, we put our labels and our differences aside to come together for the only thing that matters: The future of this country and the generations that come after us.”
I am running to serve you as the next president. The challenges we face are the greatest in living memory. No one person can meet them on their own. Only this country can do that, and only if we build a movement that includes all of us. Say you're in: https://t.co/EKLdkVET2u pic.twitter.com/lainXyvG2n
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) March 14, 2019
O’Rourke is starting a three-day tour through Iowa, and he will hold a campaign kick off rally in El Paso, Texas, on March 30.