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 CruzOcasio-Cortez, Cruz trade jabs over COVID-19 relief: People 'going hungry as you tweet from' vacation McSally, staff asked to break up maskless photo op inside Capitol Capitol's COVID-19 spike could be bad Thanksgiving preview MORE (R-Texas), to run against President TrumpDonald John TrumpMinnesota certifies Biden victory Trump tells allies he plans to pardon Michael Flynn: report Republican John James concedes in Michigan Senate race MORECNN reported Friday.


Susman has served as one of the Democratic Party’s most prolific fundraisers, previously working as the finance chairman for John KerryJohn Forbes KerryOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Kerry says Paris climate deal alone 'is not enough' | EPA halts planned Taiwan trip for Wheeler| EPA sued over rule extending life of toxic coal ash ponds Biden Cabinet picks largely unify Democrats — so far Intercept DC bureau chief says Biden picks are 'same people' from Obama years 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 BidenMinnesota certifies Biden victory Trump tells allies he plans to pardon Michael Flynn: report Biden says staff has spoken with Fauci: 'He's been very, very helpful' MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden: 'Difficult decision' to staff administration with House, Senate members Hillicon Valley: YouTube suspends OANN amid lawmaker pressure | Dems probe Facebook, Twitter over Georgia runoff | FCC reaffirms ZTE's national security risk Biden Cabinet picks largely unify Democrats — so far 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.”