May 24, 2021 - Politics & Policy

AP: Beto O'Rourke considering bid for Texas governor

Beto O'Rourke wears a face mask and a baseball cap

Beto O'Rourke at a "Texans Rally For Our Voting Rights" event at the Texas Capitol Building on May 8, 2021 in Austin, Texas. Photo: Gary Miller/Getty Images

Former U.S. Rep. and 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke is considering a run for governor of Texas, although he has not formally mobilized a campaign or set a timeline, the AP reports.

Why it matters: O'Rourke would bring name recognition and the ability to quickly leverage a fundraising apparatus if he entered a race against Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in 2022. It would be his third election cycle in a row as a candidate, after challenging Ted Cruz in the Senate in 2018 and following his presidential bid in 2020.

Flashback: He previously said he couldn't imagine running for public office again if he lost the Democratic presidential nomination.

What to watch: O'Rourke may have alienated voters in Texas with liberal policies endorsed during his White House run, and would face a stiff task in unseating Abbott, who also has plenty funds.

  • But the former representative"relishes the role of underdog" after his rapid political rise saw him nearly upset Cruz in 2018, the AP notes.

Go deeper: Matthew McConaughey leads Abbott in Texas governor's race poll

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