Former El Paso Congressman and U.S. Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke officially announced his run for governor of Texas on Monday.
The long-anticipated announcement came with a video from O’Rourke explaining why he’s running against Gov. Greg Abbott.
“Those in positions of public trust have stopped listening to, serving, and paying attention and trusting the people of Texas,” O’Rourke said. “They’re not focused on the things that we really want them to do, like making sure 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.”
“Instead, they’re focusing on the kind of extremist policies around abortion or permitless carry, or even in our schools, that only divide us and stop us from working together on the truly big things that we want to achieve for one another,” O’Rourke said.
Before officially facing off against O’Rourke, Abbott will have to come out on top against a number of Republican challengers that are attempting to primary him, including former state GOP Chairman Allen West and former state Sen. Don Huffines. The primary is set for March 1, 2022.
This is O’Rourke’s third major campaign. In 2018, he ran against Sen. Ted Cruz and came within three percentage points from ousting the incumbent senator. A year later, he threw his hat in the ring in a crowded Democratic presidential primary.
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.
Election Day will take place Nov. 8, 2022.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org