Beto O’Rourke Hasn’t Ruled Out Texas Governor Run, Report Says
Democratic presidential hopeful former Texas representative Beto O'Rourke smiles in the spin room after the fourth Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season co-hosted by The New York Times and CNN at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio on October 15, 2019.
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

Two-time failed Democratic political candidate Beto O’Rourke, 48, is reportedly weighing whether or not to run for elected office again, this time for governor of Texas. 

According to The Associated Press, O’Rourke has not ruled out running for Texas governor in 2022, when Republican Governor Greg Abbott is expected to seek another term. While O’Rourke has not actively taken any steps toward doing so, an aide close to O’Rourke told the AP, on condition of anonymity, that O’Rourke has not ruled out a bid. 

O’Rourke became a political celebrity, of sorts, among members of the Democratic Party when he challenged incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) in the 2018 election. Although he lost by about 200,000 votes, O’Rourke later received some flattering coverage, and decided to leverage his star by running in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary. 

O’Rourke, famously, took a strong gun-control stand in the September 2019 Democratic primary debate, declaring “hell yes we are going to take your AR-15″ to a room full of applauding Democrats. “We’re not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore,” he said. 


He dropped out of the race about a month and a half later; some of his staffers had reportedly been looking for a way off the campaign for weeks. But now, members of the Texas Democratic Party want O’Rourke to run in 2022 — or at least make it known whether he plans to run for governor or not. 

“I told him that I thought that we needed a strong candidate for governor and he certainly fit that mold, and that, in my opinion, if anybody could beat Abbott, he could beat him,” said Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa, The Associated Press reported. 

Should O’Rourke choose to run, he might also have competition from actor Matthew McConaughey, who has been flirting with a gubernatorial run even more seriously than O’Rourke, going as far as reaching out to people who could help make it happen.

According to Politico, McConaughey is “quietly making calls to influential people in Texas political circles, including a deep-pocketed moderate Republican and energy CEO, to take their temperature on the race and to talk about seriously throwing his hat in the ring.”

It’s not even clear, however, whether McConaughey would be running under a political party or not.

“The question is: Would he run as a Republican? A Democrat? Independent? And where is he on the political scale? He says he has a funny phrase about being a hardcore centrist, but what party would he run under?” long-term GOP strategist Karl Rove told Politico.

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