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Beto O'Rourke. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Editor's Note: O'Rourke dropped out of contention for the Democratic presidential nomination on Nov. 1, 2019. Below is our original article on his candidacy.

Key facts:
  • Age: 46
  • Born: El Paso
  • Undergraduate: Columbia University
  • Date candidacy announced: March 14, 2019
  • % of votes in line with Trump, per FiveThirtyEight: 30.1%
  • Previous roles: 3-term representative for Texas' 16th district, served on El Paso City Council 2005–2011.
Stance on key issues:
  • Health care: Has vacillated between endorsing single-payer and Medicare for All, opting to put stock in Medicare for America, which aims to expand "government-run health coverage while keeping employer-sponsored insurance plans," CNN reports.
  • Climate change: Proposed a $5 trillion-plan to address climate change, aiming for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
  • Taxes: Has derided business tax cuts and opposed 2017's GOP tax overhaul. O’Rourke voted in favor of an oil tax in 2016 that would have taxed $10 per barrel of crude oil.
  • Gun control: Called for universal background checks and limits on sale of AR-15s. Opposes requiring states to recognize concealed carry permits granted in other states.
  • Immigration: Vocal critic of Trump's border wall and said U.S. should not criminalize migrants who request asylum between ports of entry.
  • Supreme Court reform: Considers having 5 justices selected by Democrats and 5 by Republicans. 5 more would be selected totaling 20. Has also considered term limits.
  • College: Not on the bill for debt-free college — but supports forgiving student loan debt for public school teachers.
  • Minimum wage: Supports increasing minimum wage to $15/hour.
  • Marijuana: Favors decriminalization and expunging criminal records for cannabis-related offenses.
  • Transparency: Would require cabinet to hold monthly town halls.
  • Big Tech: Doesn't support breaking up Big Tech firms, claiming that would not "ensure dynamism in our economy and address corporate concentration."
  • Voting rights: Announced goal of registering more than 50 million voters and ensuring that 35 million more votes are cast in 2024.
  • Inequality: End racial disparities in education by investing $500 billion towards school-district funding gaps.
Key criticisms:
  • Business policy: Has voted in favor of bills that Democrats say would reduce independent audits of corporations. He was a member of the New Democrat Coalition, which aligned closely with business interests.
  • Teenage years: When he was 15, he wrote a piece of fiction about killing children. He has since expressed regret: "I’m mortified to read it now, incredibly embarrassed, but I have to take ownership of my words."
  • Hacking: Was a member of America's oldest hacking group, Cult of the Dead Cow, in the 1980s.
1 fun thing
  • O'Rourke used to play in a punk band, Foss, and founded a software company.

Go deeper: Everything you need to know about the other 2020 candidates

Editor's note: This story has been updated to note that O'Rourke visited all 254 Texas counties, not districts.

Go deeper

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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

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Biden holds first phone call with Putin, raises Navalny arrest

Putin takes a call in 2017. Photo: Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty

President Biden on Tuesday held his first call since taking office with Vladimir Putin, pressing the Russian president on the arrest of opposition leader Alexey Navalny and the Russia-linked hack on U.S. government agencies, AP reports.

The state of play: Biden also planned to raise arms control, bounties allegedly placed on U.S. troops in Afghanistan and the war in Ukraine, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki, who said the call took place while she was delivering a press briefing. Psaki added that a full readout will be provided later Tuesday.

Biden signs racial equity executive orders

Joe Biden prays at Grace Lutheran Church in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on September 3, 2020, in the aftermath of the police shooting of Jacob Blake. PHOTO: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed executive orders on housing and ending the Justice Department's use of private prisons as part of what the White House is calling his “racial equity agenda.”

The big picture: Biden needs the support of Congress to push through police reform or new voting rights legislation. The executive orders serve as his down payment to immediately address systemic racism while he focuses on the pandemic.