Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) has reportedly received an invitation to visit the Polk County Democratic Party in Des Moines, Iowa — the state that hosts the first presidential nominating contest of 2020.
According to the Dallas Morning News, the Democratic Party in Des Moines, which is home to one-third of the state’s Democratic voters, extended the invitation to O’Rourke on Monday.
“We would love to host him,” Sean Bagniewski, the chairman of the Polk County Democratic Party, told the publication. “He was unapologetically progressive. He’s a young face. He wasn’t afraid to be himself. Democrats are often very poll-tested, very consultant-driven. He was more authentic in a way that people haven’t seen since Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaTo Build Back Better, improving Black women's health is a must Rahm Emanuel has earned M since leaving Chicago's city hall: report 60 years after the Peace Corps, service still brings Americans together MORE, so he connected with people nationwide in ways that some of our more cautious political leaders haven’t.”
O'Rourke has not responded to the invitation, according to the publication.
“It’s real. In Iowa, everybody knows the next person that they want to meet, and by far he is the No. 1 person that’s being requested right now — volunteers, elected officials, our membership base,” Bagniewski continued. “Everybody right now is asking for Beto.”
The Democrat lost his bid for incumbent Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzMatthew McConaughey on potential political run: 'I'm measuring it' Professor tells Cruz that Texas's voter ID law is racist Schumer moves to break GOP blockade on Biden's State picks MORE's (R-Texas) seat in last week's midterm elections, finishing within 3 percentage points of the Republican senator. Since his loss, some have called for O'Rourke to mount a 2020 presidential campaign to challenge President TrumpDonald TrumpUkraine's president compares UN to 'a retired superhero' Collins to endorse LePage in Maine governor comeback bid Heller won't say if Biden won election MORE.
The Travis County Democratic Party encouraged supporters of O’Rourke to hold on to their campaign signs in hopes of his possible 2020 presidential run and is selling stickers to change outdated Senate campaign signs from “Beto for Senate” to “Beto for 2020.”
A Morning Consult/Politico poll released Monday found that O’Rourke came in third among Democratic voters nationwide on their list of desired 2020 presidential candidates. Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenUkraine's president compares UN to 'a retired superhero' Biden touts 'progress' during 'candid' meetings on .5T plan Biden to tap law professor who wants to 'end banking as we know it' as OCC chief: reports MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden touts 'progress' during 'candid' meetings on .5T plan Manchin: Biden told moderates to pitch price tag for reconciliation bill Biden employs flurry of meetings to unite warring factions MORE (I-Vt.) were came in ahead of O'Rourke among respondents.
A number of other Democrats have raised speculation of a possible 2020 bid against Trump, some of whom have visited Iowa in recent months. Sens. Cory BookerCory BookerBiden employs flurry of meetings to unite warring factions Biden says he will review executive actions after police reform talks fail 11 senators urge House to pass .5T package before infrastructure bill MORE (N.J.), Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisHarris unveils 0M commitment to new global health fund Senate advances Biden consumer bureau pick after panel logjam House passes bill to compensate 'Havana syndrome' victims MORE (Calif.) and Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharThis week: Democrats face mounting headaches Klobuchar: 'It is evil to make it deliberately hard for people to vote' Democrats push to shield election workers from violent threats MORE (Minn.) have so far made appearances in the state in recent weeks.
The Hill has reached out to O'Rourke's campaign for comment.