Article Image

IPFS News Link • Texas

Could Beto be back? O'Rourke mulling bid for Texas governor


Three years after becoming Democrats' breakout star out of Texas, and a year removed from crashing back to Earth in a short-lived presidential run, O'Rourke is again weighing another campaign — this time for governor.

But now O'Rourke, who teased an announcement of his bid for the White House on the cover of Vanity Fair, is being quiet about it. He says he hasn't ruled out anything, but isn't saying much else. And Texas Democrats are itching for an answer.

"Impatience is not the word for it," Texas Democratic Party chairman Gilberto Hinojosa said. "But anxious is."

For months, O'Rourke has kept his options open. A top aide to the former Texas congressman and presidential candidate said O'Rouke, 48, has not ruled out challenging Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in 2022 but has taken no formal steps toward a campaign, like calling donors or recruiting staff. The aide spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss private deliberations more freely.

If O'Rourke jumped in, it would be his third straight election cycle as a candidate, following his narrow loss for U.S. Senate in 2018 and failed White House run last year. A comeback in Texas could be complicated by liberal positions he took while seeking the presidency, but likely no other Democrat would enter the governor's race with the same ability to quickly raise the massive campaign funds needed to compete in the state.