In an interview with The Buzz Adams Morning Show, Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, a former congressman as well as a senatorial and presidential candidate, gave an intriguing answer when asked about a potential run for Texas governor in 2022.

“You know what, it’s something I’m going to think about. This state has suffered perhaps more than any other in the midst of this pandemic, in the midst of the worst recession since the Great Depression. … And you have a complete indifference on the part of Gov. Greg Abbott.”

O’Rourke received heavy press coverage during his 2018 effort to unseat Texas’ Sen. Ted Cruz. Although he didn’t win, he came surprisingly close, only losing by a margin of 2.6 percent. Consequently, his run inspired a “Beto Wave” of turnout that allowed Democrats to pick up a multitude of down-ballot races in districts that weren’t normally competitive.

Texas Democrats hoped to continue that momentum and flip the Texas House this past election. They were ultimately unsuccessful, with Republicans keeping the same net total of seats in the legislative chamber.

O’Rourke also launched a presidential campaign in the 2020 Democrat primary election, but he had to drop out due to a lack of momentum.

Even if he doesn’t run for the office, O’Rourke pledged to support Abbott’s Democrat challenger next year.

I want to make sure we have someone in the highest office in our state who’s going to make sure that all of us are okay—and especially those communities that so often don’t get the resources, or attention, or the help, like El Paso. So, whether I’m a candidate for governor or I support someone who’s a candidate for governor, I want to make sure that we have excellence in leadership and that that excellence goes to every single part of the state, including ours.

Michael Swirsky

Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Michael Swirsky is a writing fellow for Texas Scorecard. Interests include speech and debate, chess, and of course Texas politics.