Nearly two weeks after suspending his presidential campaign in response to the mass shooting in El Paso, Beto O’Rourke plans to return to the trail Thursday.
The Democratic former congressman will restart following a speech in his border city hometown that will “outline the path forward for his presidential campaign,” according to his campaign.
O’Rourke canceled a number of planned campaign events — including ones in Nevada and California — immediately after the shooting at an El Paso Walmart that left 22 dead and more than two dozen wounded. O’Rourke has remained in El Paso since news of the shooting broke “to offer support to victims and grieving residents and to honor the legacy of the 22 people who lost their lives.”
“I’m incredibly saddened, and it is very hard to think about this,” an emotional O'Rourke told reporters at a Las Vegas forum for presidential candidates immediately after the shooting occurred. “But I’ll tell you, El Paso is the strongest place in the world. The community’s gonna come together.”
O’Rourke released few details about Thursday’s event, other than to call it a “major address to the nation” that will outline the path forward for “the future of our country.”
While O’Rourke briefly put his campaign on pause, he never signaled that he planned to end his run. Still, there have been scattered calls for him to drop out of the race. A piece by the Houston Chronicle editorial board pleaded with O’Rourke to skip his bid for the White House and run for U.S. Senate against Republican John Cornyn instead.
Lauren Hitt, O’Rourke’s national director of rapid response, said sarcastically on Twitter that she “admired the logical leap” of the article.
“Beto, you put Trump on defense on his signature issue. You got under his skin so badly even WH advisors think his El Paso trip was a debacle,” Hitt tweeted. “You're leading the Democratic presidential field in TX....so run for Senate.”