Major Obama 2008 fundraiser throws support behind Beto 2020: ‘Time to pass the torch’

One of former President Obama’s major fundraisers during his 2008 campaign has vowed to raise money for Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke if he runs in 2020.

Chicago financier Louis Susman said he is encouraging O’Rourke, a rising Democratic star who narrowly lost a Senate race to Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGroup aiming to draft Beto O’Rourke unveils first 2020 video Howard Dean looking for a 'younger, newer' Democratic nominee in 2020 Congress can stop the war on science MORE (R-Texas), to run against President TrumpDonald John TrumpCoast Guard chief: 'Unacceptable' that service members must rely on food pantries, donations amid shutdown Dem lawmaker apologizes after saying it's never been legal in US to force people to work for free Grassley to hold drug pricing hearing MORECNN reported Friday.

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Susman has served as one of the Democratic Party’s most prolific fundraisers, previously working as the finance chairman for John KerryJohn Forbes KerryHow the Clinton machine flooded the FBI with Trump-Russia dirt … until agents bit Trump has one final chance with American partners of first resort John Kerry on his message to Trump: 'Resign' MORE’s 2004 presidential run.

He later went on to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom under the Obama administration.

"It's time to pass the torch to a new generation,”  Susman told CNN. "I have nothing against the Bidens and Kerrys of the world and all of these senators that are looking at it, but I think the Beto example is what inspired people and what we are going to need."

O’Rourke is considered one of the top Democratic White House contenders for 2020, according to a Harvard CAPS/Harris poll released exclusively to The Hill on Tuesday.

The outgoing Texas congressman ranked third in the poll, behind former Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenPoll shows 36 percent support Trump's reelection, 43 percent prefer generic Democrat Trump's approval rating holds steady at 45 percent amid government shutdown: poll Hugh Hewitt: Biden has 'transgendered' into Ocasio-Cortez MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersPoll shows 36 percent support Trump's reelection, 43 percent prefer generic Democrat Trump's approval rating holds steady at 45 percent amid government shutdown: poll Senate Dems introduce bill to keep DACA info private MORE (I-Vt.)

O’Rourke said firmly during his Senate campaign that he would not mount a presidential run in 2020 but has recently indicated he might be open to it.

“Amy and I made a decision not to rule anything out,” O’Rourke told reporters after a town hall in El Paso, Texas, referring to his wife.

He also met with Obama at the former commander in chief’s office in Washington D.C.

Obama has called O'Rourke an “impressive young man" in a recent interview with “The Axe Files” podcast, hosted by Obama's former strategist, David Axelrod.

“It felt as if he based his statements and his positions on what he believed,” Obama said of O'Rourke's Senate campaign. “And that, you'd like to think, is normally how things work. Sadly it's not.”