O'Rourke didn't just focus his campaigning on urban and suburban areas typically rich with Democratic voters - he traveled to all 254 Texas counties, committing to visit even the reddest, most rural places.
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. Which current candidate has the most to fear from his run?
O'Rourke addressed criticism he would likely face as a white male in a field that already comprises women, African Americans, a latino and a gay millennial.
FILE PHOTO: Beto O'Rourke speaks to Oprah Winfrey on stage during a taping of her TV show in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., February 5, 2019. Republican critics frequently refer to him by his given name, a jab meant to underscore that he is not of Hispanic descent. O'Rourke, who critics say has offered little details about where he stands on myriad issues, will face a test on whether he can match up with policy heavyweights like Senator Elizabeth Warren of MA. 'I do. I think I'd be good at it'. He has the potential to tap into various constituencies and, as the El Paso rally demonstrated, a willingness to take on the president. "Skeptics question whether O'Rourke's political transcendentalism can sustain the meat grinder of a national election".
The Post's Jeff Stein asked O'Rourke's team about "his key policy priorites", and has yet to hear back.
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The 46-year-old Democrat was the US Senate nominee but narrowly lost to Republican rival Senator Ted Cruz in 2018. He also ran a campaign staffed by volunteers instead of political professionals.
Building a national presidential operation, however, is a different matter. The decision will put O'Rourke among the second-tier of candidates; he's polling in sixth, wedged between Sens.
Former congressman Beto O'Rourke is running for president.
O'Rourke is holding a Texas kickoff of his presidential campaign March 30 in El Paso. Seated on a couch next to his wife, O'Rourke announced, "Amy and I are happy to share with you that I am running to serve you as the next president of the United States of America".