Former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeAbbott bans vaccine mandates from any 'entity in Texas' Abbott disapproval rating up 8 points to 59 percent in San Antonio area: poll Beto O'Rourke weighs in on Matthew McConaughey's potential Texas bid MORE (D-Texas) said this week he is considering a 2022 gubernatorial run, setting up a potential challenge against incumbent Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R).
"It's something I'm going to think about," O'Rourke told Buzz Adams on Texas radio station KLAQ on Monday.
O'Rourke went on to hit Abbott's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, accusing him of having a "complete indifference" to steps local leaders are trying to take to save lives amid the public health crisis.
"This state has suffered perhaps more than any other in the midst of this pandemic, in the midst of the worst recession since the Great Depression. And it is particularly galling to you and to me and everyone who is listening that El Paso in one of the hardest-hit states was, if not is, the hardest-hit city," O'Rourke said.
"I want to make sure that we have someone in the highest office in our state to make sure that all of us are OK," he said. "Whether I'm a candidate for governor or I support someone who's a candidate for governor, I want to make sure that we have excellence in leadership and that excellence goes to every single part of the state, including ours."
The Hill has reached out to Abbott's team for comment.
O'Rourke came within less than 3 points of defeating Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOcasio-Cortez goes indoor skydiving for her birthday GOP rallies around Manchin, Sinema McConnell gets GOP wake-up call MORE (R-Texas) in the state's 2018 Senate race, catapulting him onto the national political scene. O'Rourke then pursued a presidential bid but dropped out of the Democratic primary in late 2019.
Despite his two recent unsuccessful campaigns, O'Rourke is widely seen as a figure that could ultimately turn Texas Democratic.