Beto O’Rourke Reportedly Preparing To Run For Governor In 2022

Beto O'Rourke. Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images for MoveOn

Melanie Wilcox Contributor
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Former Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke will announce his run for Texas governor later this year, Axios reported Sunday.

If O’Rourke enters the race, he will challenge Republican Gov. Greg Abbott who has served in his position since 2015, Texas political operatives told Axios. Prior to serving as governor, Abbott was the attorney general of Texas from 2002 to 2015 and a member of the Texas Supreme Court from 1996 to 2001.

“No decision has been made,” David Wysong, O’Rourke’s former House chief of staff and a longtime adviser, told Axios. “He has been making and receiving calls with people from all over the state.”

O’Rourke is a three-term congressman from El Paso. He ran against Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018 and lost before launching his failed 2020 presidential campaign.

About 54% of Texans believe the state is on the “wrong track” while 45% approve of Abbott’s performance, according to a poll conducted Sept. 7-14 from The Dallas Morning News. The poll surveyed 1,148 registered voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points. (RELATED: Judge Ruling Prevents Abbott From Closing Planned Entry Points Along Southern Border)

O’Rourke criticized Abbott’s announcement to repeal the statewide mask mandate and allow businesses to operate at full capacity.

“They literally want to sacrifice the lives of our fellow Texans, for — I don’t know, for political gain? To satisfy certain powerful interests within the state? And this isn’t hyperbole,” O’Rourke said on MSNBC in March.