O'Rourke nabs 2020 endorsement from his successor in Congress

O'Rourke nabs 2020 endorsement from his successor in Congress
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Rep. Veronica EscobarVeronica EscobarCongressional Hispanic Caucus calls for answers on Mississippi ICE raids Consoler in Chief like Biden is the perfect antidote to a Divider in Chief like Trump Democratic senator on possibility of Trump standing up to the NRA: 'That's just such BS' MORE (D-Texas) on Thursday endorsed Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump hews to NRA on guns and eyes lower taxes Harris to appear in CNN climate town hall after backlash Castro qualifies for next Democratic primary debates MORE, whom she replaced as El Paso's representative in the House, for president.

"We have not had a presidential election this important in my lifetime. Our country is at an historic crossroads, and if we continue on this reckless path, we all have much to lose," Escobar said in a statement.

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O'Rourke told a Texas TV station on Wednesday that he intends to seek the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, making it official on Thursday morning in a campaign video.

Escobar and O'Rourke have long ties. They were both part of a group of young El Paso Democrats who rose through the party's ranks, taking over key county and legislative seats and at the time butting with establishment leaders.

O'Rourke was elected to his first of three terms in the House after a tough primary challenge against eight-term Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas), with Escobar serving as his communications director.

"I have endorsed Beto O’Rourke in every election he’s run — including this exciting run for President of the United States — because he is an extraordinary public servant, driven by compassion and a desire to unify," said Escobar.

Both Escobar and O'Rourke have been outspoken voices for border communities, particularly El Paso, and have pushed back against claims that the region is unsafe and needs tougher security.

"He is a son of the border, and during an era of unprecedented racist attacks on safe, secure communities like ours, I am grateful that he consistently stands up to the xenophobia and bigotry that has driven the ugliest of political debates," said Escobar. "It is that kind of courage that we need today, now more than ever."

Escobar was El Paso County judge — an executive position akin to county manager — before running to replace O'Rourke.

O'Rourke ran an unsuccessful challenge against Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGOP strategist predicts Biden will win nomination, cites fundraising strength 3 real problems Republicans need to address to win in 2020 The Hill's Morning Report - Trump on defense over economic jitters MORE (R-Texas) in 2018.