By Staff Reporter
A Democratic rising star, likened to former president Barack Obama has joined the race to take on Republican President Donald Trump in next year’s US presidential elections.
According to BBC, Mr O’Rourke, 46, is the 15th Democrat to declare his bid for the White House.
BBC outlines that in last year’s mid-term election, he ran a tight race against Republican Ted Cruz for his Senate seat, though it proved ultimately unsuccessful.
But he did better than any Democrat in Texas for decades, running a media-friendly campaign that energised the Democratic Party nationwide and drew comparisons with former President Barack Obama.
He joins a growing roster of people vying for the Democratic nomination – including senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar and Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg to name but a few.
Appearing alongside his wife in his campaign launch video, Mr O’Rourke said this was the “defining moment of truth for this country and every single one of us”.
He said the challenges on the economy, democracy and climate change “have never been greater. They will either consume us or they will afford us the greatest opportunity to unleash the genius of the United States of America”.
There’s something strange about an electoral defeat launching a presidential campaign. But 2020 is shaping up to be a strange election cycle.
Beto O’Rourke captured the imagination of Democrats across America with his energetic, yet ultimately unsuccessful, 2018 bid to unseat Republican Senator Ted Cruz in Texas.
He became a social media star, packed rallies across the state and posted fundraising numbers more akin to a presidential contender than a Senate hopeful.
Now he is a presidential contender.
The former congressman from El Paso enters a crowded presidential field, but few of his competitors have matched Mr O’Rourke’s star power.
Bernie Sanders has his passionate devotees. Kalama Harris pulled 20,000 to her campaign kickoff in Oakland. But Mr O’Rourke has the potential to match them cheer for cheer.
Sensible journalists swoon. “Beto” attire has been spotted in Brooklyn coffee shops and on the head of basketball star Lebron James. Despite a paper-thin resume, Mr O’Rourke is a rare political phenomenon.
The late Texas writer Molly Ivins once observed that a successful presidential candidate has to have “a little Elvis in him”. Mr O’Rourke has Elvis in spades. Enough Elvis to open a Las Vegas casino.