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Beto O'Rourke holds his first official 2020 presidential campaign rally in El Paso on March 30, 2019.
Texas 2022 Elections

Beto O’Rourke enters 2022 a weaker candidate with a harder race

O’Rourke joins the 2022 gubernatorial race as Texas’ best-known Democrat, but he carries considerably more baggage after a series of political failures, including his bids for U.S. Senate and president. This time, instead of riding a blue wave nationally, he’ll be fighting a red one.

Beto O'Rourke speaks to his supporters after losing to Ted Cruz in the 2018 midterm elections, Tuesday, November 6, 2018, in El Paso, Texas. Photo by Ivan Pierre Aguirre for The Texas Tribune

A series of losses

Presidential candidate and El Paso native Beto O'Rourke walks with U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-El Paso, right, during a Silent March for those that lost their lives to the mass shooting at a local Walmart, on Sunday, August 4, 2019, in El Paso.
Former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-El Paso, talks in the spin room after the 2020 Democratic U.S. presidential debate in Houston on Sept. 12, 2019.
Former Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke and former Vice President Joe Biden visit a Whataburger after O'Rourke endorsed Biden's campaign for president in Dallas on March 2, 2020.
Former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso, speaks at “Texans Rally for Our Voting Rights” at the Texas Capitol in Austin on May 8, 2021. Critics of SB 7 claim that the legislation suppresses voting rights by limiting and changing state voting procedures.
Beto O'Rourke, then-candidate for U.S. Senate, greets supporters at a campaign rally in Austin on Nov. 4, 2018.

Running a different race

Activists hold signs advocating for improvements to Texas’ energy grid at a progressive rally at the south gate of the Capitol on April 22, 2021.

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