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O'Rourke says he'll focus on flipping Texas state House in 2020

O'Rourke says he'll focus on flipping Texas state House in 2020
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Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) said Tuesday that he plans to focus on flipping the Texas state House to Democratic control in 2020.

“Everything flows up from that," the former presidential candidate told reporters, according to The Texas Tribune. "So not only could Democrats gain control of the House and make progress on stormwater infrastructure, health care, gun violence, climate and education, but that will incidentally help the federal races — from U.S. Congress to U.S. Senate — and I also think it’s also going to lay the groundwork for whoever the presidential nominee is."

O’Rourke told reporters of his new plans while campaigning with Eliz Markowitz, who is running for a state House seat and preparing for a run-off election next month, according to the Tribune. He said it was the first time he has returned to the campaign trail following his withdrawal from the presidential race in early November.  

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The former presidential candidate said during his 2018 Senate campaign that he worked with state House candidates and they “produced historic turnout,” according to the Tribune.

O’Rourke has made several endorsements for Texas candidates, including state House candidate Lorraine Birabil over James Armstrong and former campaign adviser Sima Ladjevardian over U.S. Rep. Dan CrenshawDaniel CrenshawChanging suburbs threaten GOP hold on Texas Biden, Democrats see late opportunity in Texas Dan Crenshaw releases Hollywood-type action movie trailer MORE (R-Texas). He added that he will support the Democratic nominees in these races once they are chosen, the Tribune reported.

But O'Rourke is avoiding the 2020 Senate election, saying he will not get involved until the Democratic nominee is picked.

Markowitz will face Republican Gary Gates on Jan. 28 after earning 39 percent of the vote in the November election. Gates had 28 percent support, but Republican candidates overall took home 61 percent of the vote, according to the Texas newspaper.

O’Rourke and Markowitz attended an anti-gun violence roundtable with the Greater Houston chapter of Moms Demand Action after speaking with reporters.

The former lawmaker dropped out of the presidential race after his poll numbers plateaued. O'Rourke lost to Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzQuinnipiac poll finds Biden, Trump tied in Texas China could cut our access to critical minerals at any time — here's why we need to act The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Goldman Sachs - Two weeks out, Trump attempts to rally the base MORE (R-Texas) in the 2018 Senate election.