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 CruzWhite House to convene social media summit after new Trump attacks GOP lays debate trap for 2020 Democrats O'Rourke on Senate bid backer Beyoncé: I will have to 'earn her support' for 2020 MORE (R-Texas), to run against President TrumpDonald John Trump2020 Democrats spar over socialism ahead of first debate Senate passes .5 billion border bill, setting up fight with House 'Teflon Don' avoids the scorn of the 'family values' GOP — again 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 KerryDemocrats can show Trump the way to avoid war with Iran Mellman: Are primary debates different? MSNBC's Hayes fears Trump military move during Democratic debates 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 Biden'Teflon Don' avoids the scorn of the 'family values' GOP — again Don't expect Trump-sized ratings for Democratic debates Hickenlooper laughs off lack of recognition by security guard at Democratic debate MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie Sanders2020 Democrats spar over socialism ahead of first debate 'Teflon Don' avoids the scorn of the 'family values' GOP — again Don't expect Trump-sized ratings for Democratic debates 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.”