O’Rourke: An advocate for urgent gun control

Maddie Davis, Staff Writer

Robert Francis “Beto“ O’Rourke is a Democratic American politician who represented Texas’ 16th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives from 2013 to 2019. 

O’rourke is 47 years old and was born in El Paso, Texas. He attended Columbia University. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and a major in English literature. 

When O’Rourke graduated from college, he decided to stay in New York for a few years. He worked a full-time job at a tech start-up; he took shifts at an art moving company and moonlighting as a babysitter so that he could afford the rent. A few years later, he realized how much he missed home. He packed up his stuff and moved back to El Paso.

After being back in Texas for a few years, O’Rourke was elected to the El Paso City Council in 2015 and served in the City Council. In 2011, he decided to run for the United States House of Representatives and was elected in 2012 after defeating Democrat Silvestre Reyes in the primary.

When O’Rourke and his wife realized that Donald Trump would be President of the United States, they asked each other how they would explain what happened to the country. They discussed what role they could play in this moment of truth for the country. They agreed that running for Senate might be a good option.

In 2014 and 2016, O’Rourke was re-elected to the House of Representatives but decided to not follow through with his re-election in 2018. Instead, O’Rourke would run for the United States Senate against Republican Ted Cruz. Although O’Rourke lost a close race, this campaign drew national attention and O’Rourke set a record for most votes ever casted for a Democratic candidate in Texas’ history.

On March 14, 2019, O’Rourke announced his campaign for President of the United States in the 2020 presidential election.

On Friday, November 1st, 2019, after about eight months of campaigning for president, O’Rourke decided to drop out of the Presidential Race. 

“Our campaign has always been about seeing clearly, speaking honestly, and acting decisively,” O’Rourke announced in a series of tweets. “In that spirit: I am announcing that my service to the country will not be as a candidate or as the nominee.”

He ended his campaign that he felt was not gaining enough energy of his past candidacy on a national stage. His campaign has been under extreme finance restrains the past months, having to make cuts in his staff in order to have enough money for advertising.

Texas Democrats have suggested that O’Rourke still has a role to play in Texas’ Democratic party. 

Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa said in a statement that “Beto O’Rourke has done amazing things for the Democratic Party in Texas, and we look forward to his future.”

As of right now, O’Rourke does not plan to run again for Senate. The deadline for the senate race is December 9, 2019. This means he still has time to rethink his decision and be apart of the senate race.