AUSTIN, Texas — It's official: Democrat Beto O'Rourke is running for governor of Texas.
The former El Paso congressman, 2018 U.S. Senate nominee and 2020 presidential contender officially announced his campaign in a video posted to YouTube on Monday, Nov. 15.
In the video, O'Rourke cites the power grid failure during February's winter storm as one of the reasons he is running, stating that Texans were "abandoned by those who were elected to serve and look out for them" and that is a "symptom of a much larger problem" in Texas.
"Those in positions of public trust have stopped listening to, serving and paying attention to and trusting the people of Texas. And so they're not focused on the things that we really want them to do," O'Rourke said in part. "Like making sure that we have a functioning electricity grid; or that we're creating the best jobs in America right here in Texas; or that we have world-class schools; or that we make progress on the things that most of us actually agree on, like expanding Medicaid or legalizing marijuana."
Rumors of O'Rourke's plan to run for governor of Texas have swirled for months and the clock has been ticking, with the candidate filing deadline for the March 2022 primary less than a month away.
A recent poll from the University of Texas at Austin and The Texas Tribune showed Gov. Greg Abbott with a comfortable lead over O'Rourke in a potential match-up.
Abbott's campaign released the following statement in response to O'Rourke's announcement:
"From Beto O’Rourke’s reckless calls to defund the police to his dangerous support of the Biden Administration’s pro-open border policies, which have resulted in thousands of fentanyl deaths, Beto O’Rourke has demonstrated he has more in common with President Biden than he does with Texans. Governor Abbott proudly supports the men and women of law enforcement, has deployed Texas National Guard and Texas Department of Public Safety personnel and resources to secure the border, and has created a business climate that has made Texas the economic engine of America. The last thing Texans need is President Biden’s radical liberal agenda coming to Texas under the guise of Beto O’Rourke. The contrast for the direction of Texas couldn’t be clearer."
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