March 14, 2019
Beto O'Rourke is the latest politician to run for the Democratic nomination in the 2020 U.S. presidential election. The public profile of the former U.S. representative from Texas skyrocketed during his midterm-election bid for the U.S. Senate, thanks to some high-profile endorsements and record-breaking fundraising.
O'Rourke, 46, ran against Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz for his seat in 2018, managing to out-fundraise Cruz without accepting PAC money for campaign funds, raising a total $80 million, and even securing an endorsement from Beyoncé.
Though his candidacy is credited with raising voter turnout in the state, especially in heavily Hispanic areas bordering Mexico, O'Rourke lost to Cruz by 2.7 percentage points – an unprecedented moment in a historically red state where Republican senator nominees often win by upward of 20 percentage points.
Prior to Thursday's announcement, O'Rourke had gained national attention again when President Donald Trump held a campaign rally in El Paso to garner support for his border wall last month. At a counter-march that same day, O'Rourke made closing statements, saying, "We know that walls do not save lives. Walls end lives.”
Shortly after the event, O'Rouke released a 10-point immigration reform plan which included legalizing the status of undocumented immigrants and guaranteeing safety for women fleeing abusive relationships.
O'Rouke announced his presidential bid on Twitter on Thursday morning.
I am running to serve you as the next president. The challenges we face are the greatest in living memory. No one person can meet them on their own. Only this country can do that, and only if we build a movement that includes all of us. Say you're in: https://t.co/EKLdkVET2u pic.twitter.com/lainXyvG2n— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) March 14, 2019
"This is a defining moment of truth for this country, and for every single one of us," he said in this announcement.
"This moment of peril produces, perhaps, the greatest moment of promise for this country and for everyone inside of it."
Other Democrats who already have declared their candidacies include Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Cory Booker, Sen. Kamala Harris, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, among many others. Former Vice President Joe Biden, who sat out of the 2016 race, is reportedly still considering it.