Beto O’Rourke Nabs First Congressional Endorsement from Kathleen Rice

AUSTIN, TEXAS - MARCH 09: Beto O'Rourke attends the "Running with Beto" Premiere 2019 SXSW Conference and Festivals at Paramount Theatre on March 09, 2019 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SXSW)
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SXSW

Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY) on Thursday became the first member of Congress to endorse former Rep. Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke’s (D-TX) 2020 White House bid.

“I’m proud to endorse my friend @BetoORourke for President!” Rice wrote in a social media post. “He’s honest, authentic and has the courage of his convictions and a bold vision for our future.”

“Most importantly, he’ll build a movement that will rise above the toxic division in our politics and unite this country,” she added.

Earlier Thursday, O’Rourke announced his candidacy for President of the United States in a video message. “The only way for us to live up to the promise of America is to give it our all and to give it for all of us,” O’Rourke said in the announcement with his wife Amy sitting silently by his side for the duration of the clip. “We saw the power of this in Texas.”

“This is going to be a positive campaign that seeks to bring out the very best from every single one of us, that seeks to unite a very divided country,” he added. “We saw the power of this in Texas.”

The announcement came after Vanity Fair published a glowing profile on O’Rourke Wednesday evening in which the former Texas congressman hinted strongly at a White House bid.

“You can probably tell that I want to run,” he told Vanity Fair. “I do. I think I’d be good at it.”

O’Rourke joins an ever-growing field of Democrat presidential candidates, which includes Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). Former Vice President Joe Biden is expected to jump into the race in the coming days.

The former congressman rose to national prominence despite losing his bid to unseat incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) last November.

O’Rourke is in Keokuk, Iowa, Thursday for his first official campaign stop.

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