Democrat Beto O'Rourke announces run for president in 2020

Democrat Beto O'Rourke announces run for president in 2020

Democrat Beto O'Rourke announces run for president in 2020

Beto O'Rourke, the Texan who gained a national following with his long-shot election battle against U.S. Senator Ted Cruz past year, will seek the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, a source close to the campaign said on Wednesday.

The former Texas congressman sent a text message to TV station KTSM on Wednesday afternoon confirming the news that he will seek the Democratic presidential nomination.

O'Rourke planned to follow his announcement with a trip to Iowa, the state that will hold the first Democratic nominating contest in February 2020.

Unlike many of his opponents who launched campaigns while barely registering in public opinion polls, O'Rourke begins in sixth place in the RealClearPolitics average of polls, receiving an average of 5 percent. He seems like a guy who knows how to say what his audience wants to hear.

O'Rourke, a 46-year-old former three-term U.S. representative from West Texas, made the announcement online.

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O'Rourke, whose given name is Robert Francis, as a child acquired his nickname "Beto", a common shortening of "Roberto" for Spanish speakers.

With his presidential effort, O'Rourke is hoping to leverage the fame he gained with his Senate race. According to the latest edition of Vanity Fair, Mr O'Rourke said: "You can probably tell that I want to run. I do".

A former bassist in a punk band, O'Rourke's 1998 arrest for driving while intoxicated has been an issue in every campaign he has run and will undoubtedly resurface during his presidential bid.

"I'm not big on labels", O'Rourke told reporters in December when asked whether he could be considered a progressive.

Those who have already announced include Senators Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, as well as Representative Tulsi Gabbard and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro. O'Rourke accused Trump of stoking "false fear" about immigrants.

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