Beto O’Rourke (D-TX)

Representative Beto O’Rourke is running to be the next Junior Senator from Texas! An El Paso native, Beto has fought for progressive values since he began his career.

Background and Achievements

After graduating from Columbia University, Beto returned to his home in El Paso, Texas where he began a technology company alongside his wife. Following his ten-year career in technology, Beto first ran for El Paso City Council in 2005, where he defeated an incumbent. Beto remained on City Council until 2011 when he began his run for United States Congress in 2012. His first Congressional campaign, which focused on legalization of marijuana and supporting the LGBTQ+ community, led Beto to defeat an eight-term incumbent Democrat in the primary.

While on City Council, Beto overturned a ban on domestic partnerships and encouraged the legalization of marijuana, part of his campaign against President Bush’s War on Drugs. He continued to fight for progressive values in the United States Congress, where he serves on the Committee on Armed Services and Veterans’ Affairs. Beto has been a staunch supporter of the Affordable Care Act and helped lead the June 2016 House of Representatives sit-in in support of gun control. Beto is the best candidate to defeat Ted Cruz.

Positions on Key Issues

  • Supports increasing funding for public schools, especially in low-income areas
  • Supports a woman's right to choose
  • Supports expansion of Medicaid
  • Supports equal pay for equal work
  • Supports legalization of marijuana
  • Supports comprehensive prison reform
  • Does not take corporate PAC money

Prospects & Opponents

After winning his primary by over 60% of the vote, Beto has begun his fight against unpopular incumbent Ted Cruz. Cruz, the infamous leader of the 2013 government shutdown, is one of the most conservative members of the United States Senate. Only 48% of strong Texas Republicans and 28% of not very strong Republicans approve of Cruz. A greater number of Texas disapprove of Cruz than approve, whereas Beto’s approval rating is much higher than his disapproval. While he had a high percentage of those who did not know who he was, Cruz did not, meaning that Beto has a huge opportunity to get those swing voters who disapprove of Cruz to support him. Beto has outraised Cruz by millions in each quarter without taking corporate PAC money; his average donation was 25 dollars from Texans! A recent Texas Tribune poll stated that Beto was down 5 points to Cruz; an easy gap to close, especially as he has visited all 254 counties in Texas. Beto has the best chance in years to win a Texas Senate seat for the Democrats.


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