Former El Paso Congressman Beto O’Rourke has a little more than a month to file his paperwork to run for governor of Texas in 2022, and it looks like he’s very close to doing just that.
“We’ve got something big to announce, and we want you to be a part of it,” reads a new email campaign by Powered by People, the organizing group founded by O’Rourke after his presidential run. “Add your name, and we’ll make sure you’re the first to know what Beto is planning.”
O’Rourke’s looming entry into the race has been reported for several weeks, but with the Dec. 13 deadline coming up, it seems like this is the real deal.
Polling for the election has already sprinted ahead of O’Rourke. A poll of registered voters released last week by the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation shows O’Rourke and Gov. Greg Abbott in “dead heat,” while a poll by the Texas Tribune this week shows Abbott leading by nine percentage points.
The same Tribune poll shows that overall, more voters disapprove than approve of Abbott’s job as governor (albeit it shows Biden with even bleaker approval numbers).
The incumbent governor began running attack ads against O’Rourke last month despite the lack of any formal announcement. O’Rourke hasn’t waited either and for some time has criticized Abbott on issues like COVID-19 and voting rights to his millions of followers on social media.
Texas has gained almost 2 million voters since 2018, when Abbott was last on the ballot vying for a second term against Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, whom he defeated by a little more than one million votes.
Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at email@example.com