Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke is planning a bid for Texas governor in 2022, with an announcement likely later this year, Texas political operatives tell Axios. The former El Paso Representative would provide Democrats with a viable candidate to challenge Republican Governor Greg Abbott, whose approval ratings have plummeted because of his recent policy choices.
Beto has spent the last few months promoting voting rights across Texas, increasing his popularity among Texans and demonstrating his willingness to compromise on democracy. Recently, Beto’s political group, Powered by People, rolled out the “Drive-to-You” initiative, an on-demand voter registration service that will allow eligible Texas residents to register to vote from the comfort of their own homes.
No decision has been made yet, according to David Wysong, O’Rourke’s former House chief of staff. Wysong stated, “He’s been making and receiving calls with individuals from all across the state.”
But people are excited. According to a recent poll conducted by the Dallas Morning News, Beto has what it takes to defeat GOP governor Greg Abbott in a hypothetical election, with 37 percent voting for him, even before campaigns start.
O’Rourke has a huge and well-connected network of people who could help him raise enough money to defeat Abbott. Beto came extremely close to defeating Senator Ted Cruz for the Senate seat in 2018, winning by only 215,000 votes, and in recent years, Texas has been transitioning to a more progressive and liberal state, away from the conservative and restrictive politics of the GOP.
Since 1991, there hasn’t been a Democratic Governor in Texas, after Ann Richards left office to George W. Bush (former President of the United States). Greg Abbott has been in office since 2015, and his recent political decisions have put him in the hot spot.