Published: Fri, March 15, 2019
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Beto O’Rourke to Announce 2020 Presidential Bid

Beto O’Rourke to Announce 2020 Presidential Bid

Newly official presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke says the November election may be the "best way" to determine President Trump's fate - a stance that softens his earlier call for impeachment to proceed.

Beto O'Rourke launched a run on Thursday for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, hoping his message and the fame gained from his unsuccessful election challenge against U.S. Senator Ted Cruz in Texas previous year set him apart from a diverse field. Another plus for O'Rourke is his fundraising prowess: In 2018, O'Rourke raised around $80 million for his Senate campaign, $37 million of which came from donations of $200 or less.

An influential Iowa poll released last week showed O'Rourke as the first choice of just 5 percent of Democratic voters, behind four contenders, including former Vice President Joe Biden, who has not yet declared a bid, and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders.

His social media presence and huge fundraising power lifted him from a little-known three-term congressman to a Democratic rockstar with a following that stretched well beyond Texas.

O'Rourke, whose given name is Robert Francis, acquired his nickname while growing up in El Paso, Texas.

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The Iowa trip will be the first test of whether O'Rourke can convert the enthusiasm he built in Texas to the national stage.

"Amy and I are happy to share with you that I'm running to serve you as the next president of the United States of America", O'Rourke said in a video announcing his candidacy. He visited with students in the key swing state of Wisconsin.

A former bassist in a punk band, O'Rourke's 1998 arrest for driving while intoxicated has been an issue in every campaign he has run and will undoubtedly resurface during his presidential bid.

O'Rourke said he will hold a kick-off rally for his campaign on March 30 in El Paso, Texas.

O'Rourke is the 15th Democrat in the field and the second from Texas, and his opponents took notice. O'Rourke accused Trump of stoking "false fear" about immigrants. I've never seen so much hand movement.

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