Beto O’Rourke Is Taking Calls About a Run for Texas Governor, Reports

  • Beto O’Rourke is “making and receiving calls” about a potential run for governor, Axios reported.
  • O’Rourke’s chief of staff told Axios that “no decision has been made.”
  • O’Rourke narrowly lost a bid for US Senate in 2018 to Sen. Ted Cruz, losing by less than 3 percentage points.

Former US congressman Beto O’Rourke, who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination last year, is “making and receiving calls” about a potential run for Texas governor, according to Axios.

David Wysong, O’Rourke’s former chief of staff, told the publication that “no decision has been made,” adding: “He has been making and receiving calls with people from all over the state.”

Sources confirmed to Insider that O’Rourke has yet to make a decision to run.

O’Rourke’s entry would give Democrats a huge boost of energy heading into a race against GOP Gov. Greg Abbott  — not only does the former congressman have near-universal name recognition throughout the Lone Star State, but he was able to activate many new voters when he ran against GOP Sen. Ted Cruz in the 2018 Senate race  — and he demonstrated an ability to garner votes in fast-growing suburban jurisdictions like Fort Bend and Tarrant counties.

The El Paso native, who served in Congress from 2013 to 2019, has vociferously fought against the state’s new elections law and the restrictive antiabortion law that criminalizes abortion procedures six weeks after conception.

In 2018, O’Rourke narrowly lost to Cruz by less than 3 percentage points in what was the closest Senate race in Texas in 40 years.

Over that time span, the state has become much more hospitable to Republicans, as many conservative Democrats shifted allegiances to the GOP. However, with explosive growth in the state’s major metropolitan areas and the rapid diversification of the population centers, Democrats, who have not won a statewide election in Texas since 1994, are hopeful that they can reverse their fortunes.

This story has been updated.

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