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Photo: Suzanne Cordeiro/AFP via Getty Images

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke officially announced Monday that he is running for governor of Texas in 2022.

Why it matters: The formal announcement of his campaign puts to rest months of speculation that O’Rourke would challenge current Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in next year's elections.

  • Axios revealed in a scoop in September that O'Rouke was plotting his political comeback by running for governor next year.
  • His run gives Democrats a high-profile candidate with a national fundraising network to challenge Republican incumbent Abbott.

What he's saying: In a new campaign video, O'Rouke framed his decision to run around Texas' deadly winter storm in February, which he said left Texans "abandoned by those who are elected to serve."

  • “Those in positions of public trust have stopped listening to, serving and paying attention to — and trusting — the people of Texas," he added.
  • Instead of focusing on policies most Texans agree on — like expanding Medicaid and legalizing marijuana — O'Rouke said his Republican colleagues are focused on "extremist policies" such as gun rights and abortion.

In an interview with the Texas Tribune on Monday, O'Rouke said that Abbott "doesn’t trust women to make their health care decisions, doesn’t trust police chiefs when they tell him not to sign the permitless carry bill into law, he doesn’t trust voters so he changes the rules of our elections, and he doesn’t trust local communities,” regarding the creation of their own pandemic policies.

The big picture: O'Rouke was a target of Abbott attack ads that branded him "Wrong Way O'Rourke" even before he announced his bid for governor.

Go deeper

Rep. Louie Gohmert running for Texas attorney general

Rep. Louie Gohmert at the U.S. Capitol in October. Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

Rep. Louie Gohmert announced Monday his bid to become Texas attorney general in 2022 and said he's already raised $1 million in his effort to unseat the incumbent, fellow Republican Ken Paxton.

The big picture: The Texas congressman and Trump loyalist joins a crowded field of candidates challenging Paxton, who is under investigation by the FBI and is facing securities fraud charges.

Updated 12 hours ago - Technology

From Malcolm X to "Free Britney," new media shapes the justice system

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

True crime documentaries, podcasts and social media campaigns are bringing new attention to real-world legal proceedings — and are often affecting the outcome.

Why it matters: New media platforms can instantly put a national spotlight on cases that have long been forgotten or buried under red tape.

Updated 14 hours ago - Health

The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

The world still needs more coronavirus vaccines, but an additional bottleneck has emerged in many low-income countries: They need help getting shots in arms.

Why it matters: Increasing vaccination rates across the world is both a humanitarian necessity and the best way to prevent dangerous new variants from emerging, but it increasingly requires complex problem-solving.