Rep. Beto O'Rourke

Age: 40
Hometown: El Paso, Texas
Political party: Democratic
Relationship status: Married

Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) got an early hint of what life on the campaign trail would be like in his college days, when he toured the country with his rock band.

“We toured the U.S. and Canada for two years, which was a lot of fun,” he said of his time as a singer and guitarist in Foss. “It was very much a do-it-yourself, punk rock ethic of booking your own shows, sometimes sleeping on the floor of the club you had played, or meeting folks that would take you in, or sleeping on the side of the road, or at rest stops in the car.”

Music isn’t a big part of his life anymore, unless he is jamming at home with his 5-year-old daughter Molly on keyboard and 2-year-old son Henry “banging on something.” (Six-year-old Ulysses prefers classic rock).

He does enjoy music on his iPod when he goes for run, which the lean lawmaker did the morning of his 50 Most Beautiful photo shoot. (And did his interview with The Hill while eating his oatmeal.)

The El Paso, Texas, native is very focused on border issues in his first year in Congress.

“That’s the primary mission of ours: to protect the border, enhance the border and capitalize on what the boarder has to offer. It’s the source of jobs, source of positive immigration stories.”

He describes life in El Paso, which borders Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, as unlike any other border town.

“We in El Paso and Juarez are literally one community,” he said. “There’s no separation; there’s no DMZ; there’s no buffer.”

He and his wife, Amy, who will celebrate their eighth wedding anniversary in September, had their first date in Juárez at the Kentucky Club, a Mexico watering hole famous for its margaritas.

“I took her to the Kentucky Club, and then we walked two blocks down Avenue Juarez to Martino’s restaurant, and then clinched the deal. Juárez is the reason I’m married and the reason I have the kids,” O’Rourke said.

— Emily Goodin

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