Beto O’Rourke Officially Announces His Presidential Campaign

Getty Beto O'Rourke speaks onstage at Oprah's SuperSoul Conversations at PlayStation Theater on February 05, 2019 in New York City.

After statements and reports that he would consider the possibilities for his political future and weigh a 2020 presidential run on the Democratic ticket, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke has come to a decision.

O’Rourke announced Thursday that he would be running for the 2020 presidential elections:

“This is a defining moment of truth for this country and for every single one of us,” the 46-year-old Democratic former congressman from Texas said in the video above, where he is seen announcing his candidacy. “The challenges that we face right now, the interconnected crises in our economy, our democracy, and our climate 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.”

CNN previously reported that their sources told them that he would nix any possibilities of running for US Senate in Texas in 2020–which made this presidential announcement more likely. He had firmly stated that he would not challenge Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, for his Senate seat, according to Dallas Morning News.

“Amy and I have made a decision about how we can best serve our country. We are excited to share it with everyone soon,” he said in a statement sent by an aide to CNN. O’Rourke’s statement was first reported by Dallas Morning News.

O’Rourke is 46 and his wife, Amy, is nine years his junior, according to Vanity Fair.

The pair described to Vanity Fair the first time they realized in Houston, during O’Rourke’s two-year Senate campaign against Ted Cruz, that O’Rourke had a gift. “Every seat was taken, every wall, every space in the room was filled with probably a thousand people,” says Amy O’Rourke. “You could feel the floor moving almost. It was not totally clear that Beto was what everybody was looking for, but just like that people were so ready for something. So that was totally shocking. I mean, like, took-my-breath-away shocking.”

O’Rourke will begin a three-day tour through Iowa on Thursday, according to his campaign.

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

According to The Guardian, O’Rourke had told a Texas TV station in a text message that he would be running for president on Wednesday.

O’Rourke’s text message was sent to KTSM of El Paso, where he served as a US representative.

O’Rourke said in his announcement that he was proud of “what El Paso represents,” and that the city was “a big part of why I’m running. This city is the best example of this country at its best.”

Reuters reported that O’Rourke’s announcement would come via social media, but as of 6:30 am, shortly after his announcement, his Twitter account had not yet posted word.

O’Rourke has been a former congressman for the state of Texas and has considered either running for president and launching a second Senate campaign in recent weeks–he had lost his Senate campaign run to Ted Cruz, the incumbent Republican senator, in a surprisingly hard-fought race in the traditionally red state back in last year’s mid-term elections.

O’Rourke, appeared with his daughter on Instagram, in February:

O’Rourke captioned: “The eyes of the country are on El Paso. And we’re going to tell our story. Join us tomorrow evening for a march and celebration of the border. Details at FB.com/BetoORourke.”

READ MORE ON ALL 2020 DEMOCRATS RUNNING HERE: Democratic candidates who have thrown their hats in the ring for the 2020 presidential elections, here.

  • 13 Democratic candidates have announced their campaigns, so far–with O’Rourke entering his bid.
  • Two Democratic candidates have announced exploratory committees, so far.
  • 13 names have been tossed around as “considering” a run on the Democratic Party ticket.

(One candidate, Richard Ojeda, a 2016 Trump voter, and a former Army paratrooper, who earned the rank of major after having served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, dropped out of the race back in January).