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O'Rourke endorses progressive criminal justice priorities

O'Rourke endorses progressive criminal justice priorities
© Greg Nash

Former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeO'Rourke considering Texas governor bid: report O'Rourke clarifies remarks, leaves door open to gubernatorial bid O'Rourke says he's not planning on run for Texas governor 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 SandersCentrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting Democrats facing tough reelections back bipartisan infrastructure deal The Hill's Morning Report - ObamaCare here to stay MORE (I-Vt.), Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisThe U.S. and Mexico must revamp institutions supporting their joint efforts Harris signals a potential breakthrough in US-Mexico cooperation Watch live: Harris delivers remarks on vaccination efforts MORE (D-Calif.) and Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharDemocrats scramble to unify before election bill brawl Hillicon Valley: Big Tech critic Lina Khan named chair of the FTC | Lawmakers urge Biden to be tough on cyber during summit with Putin | TSA working on additional security regulations following Colonial Pipeline hack Big Tech critic Lina Khan named chair of the FTC 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 Biden 64 percent of Iowans say 'time for someone else' to hold Grassley's Senate seat: poll Philadelphia shooting leaves 2 dead, injures toddler Ron Johnson booed at Juneteenth celebration in Wisconsin 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.