As expected, Democratic Congressman Beto O’Rourke has announced he’s running against Senator Ted Cruz in 2018. The third-term House member and former punk rock guitarist officially kicked off his campaign at the Alcantar Sky Garden in his hometown of El Paso.
“Friends, vecinos, paseños, tejanos [neighbors, El Pasoans, Texans], I’m running to represent the great state of Texas in the U.S. Senate,” O’Rourke said.
O’Rourke recently gained publicity from a cross-country road trip with Republican House colleague Will Hurd. His bid is widely viewed as a longshot. Cruz finished second to Donald Trump in last year’s crowded GOP presidential primary field. He remains powerful in Texas, which hasn’t elected a Democrat to statewide office since 1994.
But the 44-year-old O’Rourke insists Cruz is beatable. He said the state needs, “a senator who’s not using this position of responsibility and power to serve his own interests, to run for president, to shut down the government, when there are so many people who pay taxes into or served in uniform for this government to work for them.”
Before challenging Cruz, though, O’Rourke will have to win the Democratic senate primary. That primary race could feature fellow Congressman Joaquin Castro, who might be favored because of stronger name recognition.