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Willie Nelson to Headline Beto O’Rourke Rally in Austin, Texas

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Rick Diamond/Getty Images/AP/Richard W. Rodriguez

Country singer Willie Nelson will headline a campaign event for Beto O’Rourke, the Democrat running for the U.S. Senate in Texas, according to the candidate’s website.

In his first-ever performance in support of a political candidate, Willie Nelson is slated to perform September 29 on behalf of O’Rourke at a rally at the Auditorium Shores in Austin, Texas.

Rolling Stone reports:

While Nelson has performed for politicians in the past — most famously for President Jimmy Carter on the South Lawn of the White House on September 13th, 1980 — the O’Rourke rally will mark his first-ever public performance on behalf of a political candidate. The concert, featuring guests Joe Ely, Carrie Rodriguez, Tameca Jones, and Nelson’s sons Lukas Nelson and Micah Nelson, is set for September 29th at Auditorium Shores.

In a statement released this week, Nelson said of the upcoming event: “My wife Annie and I have met and spoken with Beto and we share his concern for the direction things are headed. Beto embodies what is special about Texas, an energy and an integrity that is completely genuine.”

The “Always On My Mind” singer shared the stage with the Democrat Senate candidate during his annual 4th of July Picnic concert this year, performing hits “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” and “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die.” It is said Nelson and O’Rourke will perform together again in Austin later this month.

However, not everyone is enthused by the singer’s endorsement of the El Paso nation. The announcement prompted some fans to leave disapproving comments on Nelson’s official Facebook page.

“Good bye Willie…you are not on the right side.. take a look around you and do the right thing…I always thought you were a patriot…wow what a let down. You would pick a socialist agenda and an Anti American fellow like BETO, shame on you,” one fan wrote.

“Open your eyes Willie! Beto is a Socialist who probably has lied to you. This is a real shame that you support him. Won’t set well with Conservative Texans. We cannot let this man in our Senate. Hope you check him out more deeply and change your mind,” wrote another.

O’Rourke, locked in an increasingly tight race against Republican incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz, recently made national headlines for endorsing NFL players protesting the national anthem, describing the act of kneeling as “nothing more American.”

“And so non-violently, peacefully, while the eyes of this country are watching these games, they take a knee to bring our attention and our focus to this problem to ensure that we fix it,” O’Rourke told town hall attendees in Houston.

“That is why they are doing it. And I can think of nothing more American than to peacefully, standing up, or taking a knee, for your rights, anytime, anywhere, in any place,” he added.

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