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Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) revealed in a report published on Tuesday that if he fails to become the Democratic nominee for the presidency in 2020 that he will refrain from seeking public office again.
“I cannot fathom a scenario where I would run for public office again if I’m not the nominee,” O’Rourke said during an interview with Politico. The former politician served in Congress for three terms before his failed Senate bid to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) during the 2018 midterm election cycle.
Despite never winning even a state-wide election, O’Rourke announced in March that he would be running for the presidency. His presidential campaign, however, has been struggling to gain traction. O’Rourke has not broken 5% support since April and currently is receiving less than 2% on average, according to Real Clear Politics.
The Democratic presidential hopeful further sounded the alarm on Friday after his campaign revealed that it had raised $4.5 million during the third quarter of 2019, surpassing his haul for the previous quarter, but falling far short of his Democratic primary challengers. In an email to supporters, he emphasized the need for an urgent “breakthrough.”
“If we’re going to take this campaign to the next level and move up in the standings, we are going to need your help right now,” O’Rourke’s campaign wrote. “I often say this is a critical moment for the country, and now it’s a critical moment for the campaign too.”
“We believe we have the right message,” the email continued. “But we need a monumental amount of money this month to make sure we get on that debate stage in November, reach out to folks who don’t know us yet, pay for our ads, grow our organizing team, and all the other ingredients we need to get right so we can win this thing.”
While O’Rourke contends that his bid for the presidency will be his last shot at elected office, he notably walked back his repeated pledge to Texans that if he lost the Senate race, he would definitively not be running for president in 2020.
O’Rourke told CNN’s Dana Bash in October 2018 that he did not have any 2020 presidential aspirations, and in the days leading up to the midterm elections the following month, the El Paso congressman again denied he would run against President Donald Trump.
“I will not be a candidate for president in 2020,” O’Rourke said on MSNBC. “That’s, I think, as definitive as those sentences get.”
However, only a week after meeting with former President Barack Obama, following his election loss, the Texas politician revealed that he had changed his mind and was considering walking back his pledge not to launch a bid for the presidency.
“Running for Senate, I was 100% focused on our campaign, winning that race and then serving the next six years in the United States Senate,” O’Rourke said. “Now that that is no longer possible, you know, we’re thinking through a number of things.”
After facing mounting pressure to drop out of the presidential race in August, O’Rourke doubled down and re-launched his campaign for a third time.