Rep. Beto O’Rourke Launches Bid to Unseat Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018

The three-term congressman made his run official at a rooftop convention space in his hometown of El Paso.

Congressman Beto O'Rourke
U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX 16th District)

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.


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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media’s business reporter, covering the oil...

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