Beto O'Rourke set to run against Greg Abbott for Texas governor - report

  • In Politics
  • 2021-09-19 18:01:24Z
  • By The Guardian
Photograph: Callaghan O’Hare/Reuters
Photograph: Callaghan O’Hare/Reuters  

The former Democratic congressman Beto O'Rourke is set to mount a new campaign for major political office with a run for governor in Texas in 2022, Axios reported on Sunday.

Citing unnamed "Texas political operatives", the website said O'Rourke's challenge to the Republican governor, Greg Abbott, would be announced later this year.

A longtime adviser, David Wysong, told Axios "no decision has been made" but also said O'Rourke had been "making and receiving calls with people all over the state".

The Hollywood actor Matthew McConaughey has also flirted with a challenge to Abbott, a hardline Republican who recently stoked liberal outrage by signing into law new voting restrictions and the most severe abortion law in the country.

Some Democrats fear a "centrist" run from McConaughey, the star of hit films including Gold and Dallas Buyers Club, could divide the anti-Abbott vote.

Gilberto Hinojosa, chair of the state Democratic party, told Axios: "We hope [O'Rourke is] going to run. We think he'll be our strongest candidate. We think he can beat Abbott."

The 48-year-old served three terms in the US House from an El Paso district before resigning to run for Senate in 2018.

He lost that race narrowly to Ted Cruz, then ran for the Democratic presidential nomination. A charismatic campaigner, he started the race strongly but quickly faded and dropped out before voting began.

He has maintained a national profile. This summer, O'Rourke played a prominent role in dramatic but ultimately fruitless efforts to stop Texas Republicans restricting voting access among minorities and other Democratic-leaning groups.

In 2020, Donald Trump won the state by the same margin as in 2016 while the Republican senator John Cornyn beat a touted challenger. Nonetheless, Texas demographics are shifting and it has become a tempting prize for Democrats.

In July this year, O'Rourke told the Guardian: "I don't know that we're a red state. I don't know that we're a conservative state. I don't know that we're a state that is focused on transgender girls' sports, or telling people what to do with their bodies.

"I think it is a minority, really, of the people and the voters in this state. It's just the majority aren't reflected because they aren't voting."

Abbott is running for a third term but looks vulnerable, particularly after presiding over a deadly failure of the state energy grid during a cold snap in February and opposing measures to combat Covid-19. Nearly 62,000 Texans have died.

Hinojosa told Axios Abbott's "prohibition against mask and vaccination mandates have not gone over well with Texans. And with the abortion law, Republicans have raised the anger level of Texas women higher than anyone has ever seen before."

On Sunday, the Dallas Morning News released a poll which showed support for Abbott "plunging, potentially leaving him vulnerable to the likes of McConaughey and O'Rourke".

The paper said 54% of respondents thought Texas was "on the wrong track" under Abbott, of whom 45% approved.

O'Rourke polled five points behind Abbott in a hypothetical match-up. McConaughey polled nine points ahead.


More Related News

Texas drops again in USA TODAY Sports college football re-rank
Texas drops again in USA TODAY Sports college football re-rank

Texas dropped 10 spots last week, the trend continued downward on Monday.

U.S. to offer vaccines to asylum seekers when Trump
U.S. to offer vaccines to asylum seekers when Trump's "Remain in Mexico" restarts

The Biden administration will restart President Trump's "Remain in Mexico" program in mid-November - but this time, it's considering offering vaccines to...

How Texas football transfers are performing with their new programs
How Texas football transfers are performing with their new programs

How are the former Longhorns performing this season?

McAuliffe pivots to public education in an effort to stem tide of Youngkin momentum
McAuliffe pivots to public education in an effort to stem tide of Youngkin momentum

In the closing weeks of their closely watched Virginia gubernatorial race, Terry McAuliffe is going after Glenn Youngkin on unlikely ground - public...

Anti-abortion activists
Anti-abortion activists' Supreme Court dreams are coming true

This is the moment the conservative legal movement has been building toward for decades: The solidly conservative Supreme Court is about to hear two major...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Politics