Reuters. File photo: Former U.S. envoy and presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke speaks during a protest against Texas legislators who are pushing for several new voting restrictions in Austin, Texas, USA, May 8, 2021. REUTERS / Mikala Compton / File Photo
(Reuters) – Beto O’Rourke, a former U.S. congressman from Texas who surprisingly lost to Senator Ted Cruz in 2018 and made him a Democratic star, said Monday he would challenge Republican Greg Abbott in next year’s race for state governor.
Despite failing to garner much support in the crowd of his bid candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, O’Rourke has been seen as his team’s best option for the 2022 gubernatorial race.
No Democrat has won a statewide vote in Texas, the second most populous U.S. state in three decades. Abbott, who faces two Republican rivals side by side, has amassed a massive campaign war with more than $ 55 million as of June.
O’Rourke has spent most of last year criticizing Abbott for dealing with his various crises, including the COVID-19 epidemic and a severe winter storm that has caused the state’s power grid to fail and hundreds of Texans to die.
In a video of the announcement, O’Rourke blamed the state’s Republican-controlled government for mismanaging the storm, arguing that it was a sign of a larger problem.
“People who are in a position of confidence have stopped listening, serving and paying attention and trusting the people of Texas,” he told O’Rourke.
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