Beto O’Rourke, the Texas Democrat who narrowly lost a U.S. Senate election to Ted Cruz in November, announced he was running for President in a video posted online on Thursday.
“I’m running to serve you as the next President of the United States of America,” he said. On the same day, O’Rourke embarked on a road trip across Iowa — an early and important caucus state — spanning three days and more than a dozen counties.
“This is going to be a positive campaign that seeks to bring out the very best from every single one of us,” he said, shown in the video sitting beside his wife Amy. “That seeks to unite a very divided country.”
The 46-year-old served three terms in the House of Representatives after defeating eight-term incumbent Silvestre Reye in the 2012 Democratic primary. Before the upset, O’Rourke was an El Paso city councilman, member of a punk band and the founder of a small web and software company. He graduated from Columbia University with a bachelor’s degree in English literature.
Along the campaign trail, O’Rourke will be competing against more seasoned politicians such as Sens. Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand and Elizabeth Warren. Former Vice President Joe Biden may also join the race.
O’Rourke’s decision to run for President is not a surprise to those who have been following him. In late February, he said he and his wife h