O'Rourke considering Texas governor bid: report

O'Rourke considering Texas governor bid: report
© Getty Images

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) is reportedly weighing another bid for higher office — this time for Texas governor.

That the former Senate candidate and 2020 presidential contender is thinking about launching a challenge to Gov. Greg Abbott (R) was first reported on Monday by The Associated Press. There’s currently no timeline for a decision, and he has only begun to think about it recently, according to the news outlet.

If he does end up challenging Abbott, it would mark O’Rourke’s third consecutive election cycle seeking statewide or national elected office. 


He rose to prominence in 2018 during his high-profile Senate run against Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzUp next in the culture wars: Adding women to the draft Biden's bipartisan deal faces Senate gauntlet 228 Republican lawmakers urge Supreme Court to overrule Roe v. Wade MORE (R-Texas), which he narrowly lost. Months later, he launched a bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, though he suspended his campaign in November 2019, months before the primaries and caucuses began.

After dropping out of the presidential race, O’Rourke launched a political action committee to boost Democrats in Texas ahead of the 2020 election. He has also been teaching virtual classes at two Texas universities. 

Democrats have sought to make gains in Texas in recent years, though their efforts have been dealt a series of setbacks. In 2020, former President TrumpDonald TrumpFive takeaways from the Ohio special primaries Missouri Rep. Billy Long enters Senate GOP primary Trump-backed Mike Carey wins GOP primary in Ohio special election MORE carried the state for a second time, while Democrats failed to make any gains down-ballot. 

Following their 2020 losses, the Texas Democratic Party commissioned a retrospective of the election, eventually concluding that a lack of in-person campaigning and inadequate voter outreach amid the coronavirus pandemic played a crucial role in their defeats.

Texas Democrats face new challenges in 2022. The Republican-controlled state legislature has advanced a raft of new voting measures that Democrats fear will drive down turnout and hurt their chances of winning in Texas.