On Monday, former Congressman Beto O’Rourke ended months of speculation by announcing a campaign for Texas Governor in 2022 challenging incumbent Greg Abbott.
This announcement will likely clear the field in the Democratic primary in the 2022 gubernatorial race as many in the party establishment were waiting on the former Congressman from El Paso’s decision.
O’Rourke has honed in on a few issues in his campaign launch: fixing the power grid, improving public education, expanding Medicaid, and legalizing marijuana. He criticizes Gov. Abbott and Texas Republicans for passing the restrictive abortion law deputizing any citizen in the nation for enforcement, permitless carry, and campus carry.
Abbott’s campaign team has been expecting an O’Rourke bid. They have pre-emptively launched digital ads titled “Wrong Way O’Rourke” using soundbites from the presidential campaign and during the pandemic talking about guns, the border, and police funding.
Recent polling shows Abbott is vulnerable but it also has shown O’Rourke has a ways to go to win back the approval of Texans.
Abbott is currently sitting on over $55 million in his campaign account, but O’Rourke has shown in his historic 2018 Senate race against Sen. Ted Cruz that he is a prolific fundraiser.
Similar to his 2018 campaign, O’Rourke plans to go around the state to listen to Texans and talk about his candidacy. Already, his first week on the campaign trail will take him to the following cities:
- Tuesday: San Antonio, Laredo
- Wednesday: McAllen
- Thursday: Corpus Christi
- Friday: Houston
- Sunday: Dallas
- Monday: Abilene
This story is developing and will be updated throughout the day.