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Having failed in presidential, Senate runs, Beto O’Rourke mulls giving run for Texas governor a go

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Former United States Representative Beto O’Rourke (D) says he’s “in for the distance” to possibly run for governor of Texas in 2022, after previously failing at a bid for both the Senate and the presidency.

O’Rourke has been playing coy on whether he would actually run or not. But he did tell The Texas Tribune that he wasn’t ruling anything out. He recently claimed that he had “no plans” to challenge Republican Governor Greg Abbott for the seat but that has now apparently changed. On Sunday, O’Rourke alluded that he might be considering entering the race.

Asked by MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan about whether he would consider running next year, he floated the possibility while addressing his “Drive for Democracy Tour” to rally public support for the “For the People Act” that ostensibly hands control of elections over to the federal government.

“I’m going to see this fight through to the finish, and then after that, I’m going to see how I can serve Texas either as a candidate or supporting candidates,” O’Rourke proclaimed on Sunday.

On May 24, the Associated Press reported that O’Rourke was keeping his options open in regards to the gubernatorial race. He hasn’t made it official but it does appear that he is leaning in that direction.

(Video Credit: KHOU-11)

During his stop in Houston’s Fifth Ward Sunday, the Texas Democrat stated: “Democracy is under attack in the state of Texas. This is the challenge that we are up against right now.”

The statement was in reference to the stalled passage of a voter integrity bill in Texas by Democrats.

“One way or the other, I’m in for the distance for Texas,” O’Rourke vaguely declared later.

O’Rourke sought to unseat Senator Ted Cruz in 2018 and failed to pull off that political goal. He also attempted to become the Democrat nominee for the presidency in 2020 and that did not end well for him either. Now, he is eyeing the governor’s mansion in 2022.

The progressive Democrat has previously accused Abbott of choosing to “sacrifice” lives for political gain after rescinding the statewide mask mandate and then reopening Texas’ economy. However, his harsh rhetoric has not panned out as Texas’ COVID death rate has plummeted and the economy there is thriving after Abbott’s moves.

“They literally want to sacrifice the lives of our fellow Texans for, I don’t know, political gain, to satisfy certain political interests within the state,” O’Rourke disingenuously told MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace.

FiveThirtyEight, a poll analysis blog that was launched by statistician Nate Silver, stated the odds of a successful third race for O’Rourke were not promising. Aside from historical evidence pointing to diminishing returns for political runs, funding could also be a significant obstacle even with O’Rourke’s wealth.

Peter Francia, who is a professor of political science at East Carolina University, told FiveThreeEight: “Donors want winners. As a result, fundraising is a challenge. Interest groups want winners. So, endorsements are a challenge. Local, state and national party organizations are also strategic in where they place their resources. Voters may even grow tired of a perennial candidate.”

Mayor Sylvester Turner and other elected officials were expected to attend O’Rourke’s rally on Sunday supporting the “For the People Act.”

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