AUSTIN — It was an emotional evening in El Paso for Beto O’Rourke and thousands of his supporters who gathered at the Southwest University Park baseball stadium for the official watch party Tuesday night.
The day began with O’Rourke voting in his hometown, and then visiting different polling sites in El Paso and talking to voters, taking pictures with them and handing out water to polling site volunteers.
After staying at the polls until they closed until 7 p.m., O’Rourke headed home with his family to watch as the results came in.
This, as thousands of his supporters filled the stadium when the doors opened at 7 p.m. to listen to local Tejano and rock bands, as well as a DJ on stage.
Earlier in the night as the first returns started coming in, polls showed that O’Rourke was leading Cruz by up to three points.
Thousands of O’Rourke’s supporters at the baseball stadium watch party were cheering and dancing as the polls showed promising leads for them.
However, as more results filtered in from around the state and networks began to call the race for Ted Cruz, the crowd grew silent.
El Paso is a border town with a majority Hispanic population and O’Rourke’s supporters feared what a Ted Cruz senate would do for immigration, particularly the status for dreamers in the U.S.
But O’Rourke took the stage shortly after 10 p.m. telling the crowd the election results only served to give him hope about the future of Texas.
“I am as inspired as I’ve ever been .. tonight’s loss does nothing to diminish the way that I feel about Texas or this country,” said O’Rourke. “I love you El Paso.”
O’Rourke said he called Cruz after the election results were final and vows to work together with the incumbent senator for the good of Texas.
There are hashtags and tweets trending on Twitter calling for Beto to run for president in 2020, and while O’Rourke did not directly address those rumors on stage in El Paso Tuesday night he did say that “this is only the beginning” and his work isn’t over.