Beto O’Rourke’s sisters are Charlotte and Erin; they are his only siblings.
Charlotte has been very actively involved in both of her brother’s campaigns, both presidential and for the position of senator of Texas. Erin is “intellectually impaired,” according to The Dallas News, and lives in an assisted living facility.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. O’Rourke’s Mother & Sister Charlotte Were Very Active on the Senate Campaign Trail for Beto
Charlotte and her mother have been extremely active supporters of O’Rourke throughout his presidential campaign. In fact, Charlotte is so supportive of her brother that she accidentally leaked his presidential intentions before O’Rourke announced his decision publicly.
In early February, Charlotte posted a “People for Beto 2020” image to her Facebook, drawing intense speculation that was confirmed in the coming weeks.
Since then, Charlotte has continued to use her social media accounts to support her brother, and has stumped for him at a number of places across the country.
2. Erin Lives in a Community of ‘Intellectually Impaired’ Individuals, per The Dallas News
Per The Dallas News, Erin O’Rourke lives in an assisted living facility and is “intellectually impaired.” O’Rourke calls Erin “Bear” as a nickname, the publication reports. A friend of O’Rourke’s told the publication, “His phone rang and I saw it was Erin [one of O’Rourke’s sisters] and he immediately picked up … and said, ‘Hi Bear!’ — a family nickname.”
Erin is 38 years old. The friend said of O’Rourke’s relationship to Erin, “Hearing him talk to Erin — I’m still tearing up at the thought. I said to myself, ‘He’s good. He hasn’t changed. This is the stuff that matters. This is the guy I know.’”
3. Charlotte Is a Hospice Care Nurse
According to The Dallas News, Charlotte is a hospice care nurse. Charlotte frequently posts throwback pictures of her family to her Facebook, especially pictures of herself and her mother or father.
The majority of Charlotte’s social media activity has to do with her sharing her brother’s campaign updates and information, as well as encouraging others to donate to her brother’s campaign.
When she was stumping for her brother last September, Charlotte said, “I think what we really need to educate people on is that times are changing, and you can’t vote strictly Democrat or Republican. Maybe you can vote everyone else (who is a) Republican, but you’ve got to look at the person.”
4. ‘Charlotte’ Is a Family Name, & the Inspiration for the O’Rourke’s Former Business Name
Charlotte and Beto’s mother’s name is Melissa, but “Charlotte” is also a family name, which inspired the name for their business, Charlotte’s Furniture.
The furniture store in El Paso was run by the family for several decades. The store closed in 2017, according to The El Paso Times, after being in business for over 50 years. In a phone interview, Melissa said to the publication, “It’s been a wonderful lifetime experience. But I’m ready to do something else.”
As for why she decided to close the store, Melissa didn’t go into specifics. She simply said, “For me, it’s my personal life. I’m just ready to call it.”
5. Melissa O’Rourke Has Been Called a ‘Lifelong Republican’ by Her Son
O’Rourke has called his mother a “lifelong Republican” in the past, but has since clarified that his mother has also supported Democratic candidates in the past. To BuzzFeed News, O’Rourke said of his mother,
“I introduce my mom sometimes, and I kid her a little bit, like ‘my mom’s a lifelong Republican, but we got her to vote for us in this race.’ One day, she came up to me, and she said, ‘You know, that’s just not right: I would describe myself as an independent now, not a Republican. Definitely not a Democrat.’ I don’t know what the size of that universe is, but anecdotally we’re meeting a lot of people who have described themselves that way.”
A copy of her voting records acquired by CNN reveals Melissa donated to the campaigns of the following politicians, over the years: Ted Cruz, Mitt Romney, and Barack Obama.