O’Rourke Makes First Official Swing Through Texas Kicking Off White House Bid
|Former Congressman Beto O’Rourke prepares to address a crown in Austin Saturday, ending an all day swing across his home state (Credit: Stevie Guarino/The Southside Light)|
By Stevie Guarino
Austin, Texas--Saturday was a very busy for former Congressman Beto O’Rourke as he made his first official swing through his home state of Texas promoting his campaign philosophy of “All People, No PACS”, a move that nearly worked for the El Paso based Democrat in his 2018 Senate bid against incumbent Republican Senator Ted Cruz.
O'Rourke officially started off his campaign for President of the United States Saturday with a series of grassroots events around his home state. The day began in his hometown of El Paso before moving to the campus of Texas Southern University in Houston and ending with a nightcap event in front of the Texas State Capitol in Austin.
At the Capitol, supporters trickled in slowly throughout the evening, but by the time O’Rourke appeared on stage thousands had jam packed the streets in celebration of the campaign launch.
“It is so good to be back here in Austin, Texas,” said O’Rourke. “The center and the source of so much of what is good for Texas and for the United States of America, right here!”
No one seemed bothered by the unusually brisk winds, as the crowd cheered and chanted in support of the newly announced Democratic presidential candidate.
Meanwhile, as the nightcap event was underway in Austin, supporters in Corpus Christi, where O’Rourke carried more than 50% of the vote, gathered at multiple events to show their support for their candidate.
At one home on the city’s Southeast side about 50 people gathered to support the candidate and voice their displeasure for both the Trump administration and their own Democratic party. These supporters feel that nationally, both parties are working to divide Americans and they believe that O’Rourke will bring unity and common sense back to Washington, D.C.
Earlier in the day in Houston, the Congressman turned Presidential candidate ran some two hours behind schedule to the event at Texas Southern University. The event, which was attended by a smaller than expected crowd of supporters, was full of speakers from around the state, who spoke in both English and Spanish, and small choir from the Houston area.
The event drew supporters like Julie Simpson, whose parents drove up from Corpus Christi to attend the event as a family. Simpson also has two children who attend Santa Fe High School, the sight of last years deadly school shooting that left ten people – eight students and two teachers dead. Thirteen others were wounded in the attack. Simpson says that though she has largely voted republican in the past, she voted for O’Rourke and other democrats in 2018 in an attempt to send a message to Washington and the GOP base that she believes something must be done about gun control in America. Simpson admits that she could be considered at single issue voter, but in her mind she said that she doesn’t care.
In the coming days, the Presidential hopeful will once again be visiting Iowa, a long held battleground state during the Presidential cycle, Washington, D.C., and New York City where he will be addressing the National Action Network, one of the largest civil rights conferences in the country.
O’Rourke is part of a heavily crowded field of Democrat presidential hopefuls who wish to unseat a very popular President Donald J. Trump.
***Stevie Guarino reported from Austin, Texas; Matt Briscoe contributed to this article from Corpus Christi; Kyle Stanford reported from Houston.