O'Rourke endorses progressive criminal justice priorities

O'Rourke endorses progressive criminal justice priorities
© Greg Nash

Former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeProgressive activist: Democratic nominee will 'need to ride a little bit to the center' Poll: Biden leads Sanders by 22 points Poll: Biden leads Sanders by 22 points MORE (D-Texas) endorsed a series of progressive criminal justice proposals Thursday in an essay for the Brennan Center for Justice.

In the essay, published Thursday alongside others from fellow 2020 contenders such as Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersTrump hits polling on Fox News: 'Something weird going on at Fox' Trump hits polling on Fox News: 'Something weird going on at Fox' 2020 Democrats look to cut into Biden's lead with black voters MORE (I-Vt.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisTrump hits polling on Fox News: 'Something weird going on at Fox' Trump hits polling on Fox News: 'Something weird going on at Fox' 2020 Democrats look to cut into Biden's lead with black voters MORE (D-Calif.) and Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharOvernight Defense: US to send 1K more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions | Iran threatens to break limit on uranium production in 10 days | US accuses Iran of 'nuclear blackmail' | Details on key defense bill amendments Overnight Defense: US to send 1K more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions | Iran threatens to break limit on uranium production in 10 days | US accuses Iran of 'nuclear blackmail' | Details on key defense bill amendments Overnight Health Care: Democrats attack after Trump revives talk of ObamaCare replacement | Cruz, Ocasio-Cortez efforts on birth control face major obstacles | CVS investing M to fight teen e-cig use MORE (D-Minn.), the Texas lawmaker announced support for several priorities firmly in line with the Democratic Party's left wing.

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Among the proposals he endorsed included plans to end cash bail at the state level, make for-profit prisons illegal, and end mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenses.

The former Texas congressman also vowed to confront the "over-policing of black and brown neighborhoods" as well as ending the federal prohibition on marijuana.

"Ultimately, this is about ensuring that every single one of us — regardless of race, ethnicity, or class — can live to our full potential with equal rights and equal dignity. We will build a future that is more just, more fair, and more prosperous for every single person," O'Rourke wrote on Twitter.

O'Rourke's endorsement of criminal justice reform proposals came as his campaign has struggled to make headway against a crowded field of competitors, and the former congressman regularly polls in the single digits behind higher-tier contenders such as former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump hits polling on Fox News: 'Something weird going on at Fox' Trump hits polling on Fox News: 'Something weird going on at Fox' 2020 Democrats look to cut into Biden's lead with black voters MORE and Sanders.

His poll numbers have receded since entering the race with millions of dollars in fundraising earlier this year, and he has reportedly worked to relaunch his campaign with a media tour after months of low-key events with voters.