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 CruzFBI investigating alleged assault on Fort Bliss soldier at Afghan refugee camp The Memo: Biden's immigration problems reach crescendo in Del Rio Matthew McConaughey on potential political run: 'I'm measuring it' MORE (R-Texas), to run against President TrumpDonald TrumpJulian Castro knocks Biden administration over refugee policy Overnight Energy & Environment — League of Conservation Voters — Climate summit chief says US needs to 'show progress' on environment Five takeaways from Arizona's audit results MORE, CNN reported Friday.
Susman has served as one of the Democratic Party’s most prolific fundraisers, previously working as the finance chairman for John KerryJohn KerryOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by the League of Conservation Voters — EPA finalizing rule cutting HFCs Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the League of Conservation Voters — Senate Finance chair backs budget action on fossil fuel subsidies Kerry: 'We can't get where we need to go' in climate fight if China isn't joining in 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 BidenJoe BidenFighter jet escorts aircraft that entered restricted airspace during UN gathering Julian Castro knocks Biden administration over refugee policy FBI investigating alleged assault on Fort Bliss soldier at Afghan refugee camp MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDon't let partisan politics impede Texas' economic recovery The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats argue price before policy amid scramble Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the League of Conservation Voters — EPA finalizing rule cutting HFCs 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.”