Beto O’Rourke announced on Monday morning he is running for governor of Texas, challenging current Republican governor Greg Abbott.
O’Rourke said in a Twitter video he was motivated to run after Texans felt “abandoned by those who were elected to serve and look out for them” during the February winter storm that left millions without heat and electricity.
“Those in positions of public trust have stopped listening to, serving, and paying attention to and trusting the people of Texas. They’re not focused on the things that we really want them to do, like making sure we have a functioning electricity grid or that we’re creating the best jobs in America right here in Texas,” he said.
The former congressman has lost both political races he’s been in, losing narrowly to Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018 along with a failed presidential bid in 2020.
Texas Monthly was the first to report of O’Rourke’s plans to run.
O’Rourke has been vocal in recent months, speaking out against the voting restrictions that Abbott signed into law back in September and supporting the Texas Democrats fleeing the state to stop the Republican-led Texas Senate from passing the legislation. The bill would ultimately be passed through and signed by Abbott.
The battle for O’Rourke won’t be easy. Abbott has a high approval rating among Republicans and an endorsement from former President Donald Trump to go along with millions already raised for his re-election efforts. Abbott came under fire after signing an abortion law that prevents women from getting the procedure six weeks into their pregnancy before most women even know they are expecting.
There are a small handful of Republican challengers going up against Abbott, whose mask mandate and business restrictions did not sit well with some Republicans. One of those challengers on the right is former Texas GOP Chairman Allen West.