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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

Updated 4 hours ago - World

UK government: Kremlin has plan "to install pro-Russian leadership" in Ukraine

British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss. Photo: Gints Ivuskans / AFP via Getty Images

The United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary on Saturday night said the government has "information that indicates the Russian Government is looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine."

Driving the news: U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne called the intelligence "deeply concerning" in a statement to Axios. The Biden administration has said Russia is actively manufacturing a pretext for invasion and warned that Putin could use joint military exercises in Belarus as cover to invade from the north.

Updated 6 hours ago - Science

This powerful new accelerator looks for keys to the center of atoms

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Nuclear physicists trying to piece together how atoms are built are about to get a powerful new tool.

Why it matters: When the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams begins experiments later this spring, physicists from around the world will use the particle accelerator to better understand the inner workings of atoms that make up all the matter that can be seen in the universe.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: FDA OKs antiviral drug remdesivir for non-hospitalized COVID patients — Walensky: CDC language "pivoting" on "fully vaccinated" — Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Teens and adults missed 37 million vaccinations during COVID — Team USA 100% vaccinated against COVID ahead of Beijing Olympics — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America — Annual COVID vaccine preferable to boosters, says Pfizer CEO.
  3. Politics: Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates — Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults — Beijing officials urge COVID-19 "emergency mode" before Winter Olympics.
  5. Variant tracker