Austin, TX – Former Congressman Beto O’Rourke announced his run for governor of Texas. He is running against current Republican Greg Abbott. This comes after a month of speculation and a candidate filing deadline for the March 2022 primary.
In his announcement video released Nov. 15th, O’Rourke focused on the failure of the Texas grid system during the Texas Freeze in February stating the people of Texas were “abandoned by those who were elected to serve and look out for them.”
Prior to his run for governor of the state, the former El Paso Congressman ran against Republican Senator Ted Cruz for a senate seat in 2018. He was also a contender in the 2020 presidential election against President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
In an interview with the Texas Tribune, the Democratic candidate stated, “I’m running to serve the people of Texas, and I want to make sure that we have a governor that serves everyone, helps to bring this state together to do the really big things before us and get past the small, divisive politics and policies of Greg Abbott.”
As the U.S. representative for the 16th Congressional District in El Paso, O’Rourke was known as a leader for veterans in Texas through his committee assignments such as the House Armed Services Committee and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. In 2014, he opposed President Obama’s deferred action policy stating, “the motive is noble, but the means are really hard to stomach” in a Washington Post article.
Governor Abbott responded to the announcement on Twitter.
Others made a dig at O’Rourke’s campaign aesthetic.
In a poll published in the Dallas Morning News from the University of Texas at Tyler last week, O’Rourke is six percent behind Abbott in the race for governor.
The two-term incumbent Abbott is in the lead by 45%-39% among registered voters while 22% want someone else to run.