Beto O’Rourke, former Texas Democrat representative and failed presidential candidate, is preparing to run against Gov. Greg Abbott (R) next year in the gubernatorial race, according to political operatives who told Axios.
The failed presidential candidate looking to make a political comeback is allegedly looking to make an announcement later this year and has reportedly been making calls to his political allies seeking advice, giving the impression he is running for the job.
O’Rourke’s former House chief of staff and a longtime adviser, David Wysong, told Axios, “No decision has been made … He has been making and receiving calls with people from all over the state.”
A recent poll from the Dallas Morning News showed Abbott with a lead on O’Rourke in a hypothetical poll, 42 to 37 percent.
Texas’s Democrat party chair Gilberto Hinojosa told Axios, “We hope that he’s going to run… “We think he’ll be our strongest candidate. We think he can beat Abbott because he’s vulnerable.”
SCOOP: Beto O’Rourke is preparing to run for governor of Texas in 2022, with an announcement expected later this year, Texas political operatives tell Axios. https://t.co/4MtYtpVMdK
— Axios (@axios) September 19, 2021
Hinojosa added that Abbott’s “prohibition against mask and vaccination mandates have not gone over well with Texans. And with the abortion law, Republicans have raised the anger level of Texas woman higher than anyone has ever seen before.”
The report notes that there have been “deep cultural differences” in Texas on responding to the Chinese coronavirus and other issues such as abortion rights and border security.
Abbott recently signed a bill into law making abortions six weeks after conception illegal, which has angered the left. The governor also tried to ban local authorities from creating mask mandates and “called for six points of entry in Texas to be closed” due to the ongoing border crisis.
In 2018, Abbott defeated his opponent with over 55 percent of the vote, despite Democrats hoping to flip Texas. Former President Donald Trump won the state last year with 52 percent of the vote and roughly the same margin in 2016.
When Abbott won reelection in 2018, O’Rourke lost to Sen. Ted Cruz (R), 51 to 48 percent.
Follow Jacob Bliss on Twitter @jacobmbliss.