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(Graphic by Laura Figi)

Beto O'Rourke made headlines for his Whataburger antics and widespread following during the 2018 Senate race, which he narrowly lost to incumbent Ted Cruz. Now the Democratic former congressman is back, and mulling a run for Texas governor.


During a radio interview on El Paso's KLAQ "Buzz Adams Morning Show" earlier this week, O'Rourke publicly announced that he was considering a gubernatorial run.

"It's something I'm going to think about," O'Rourke said. "This State has suffered perhaps more than any other in the midst of this pandemic."

The El Paso native suggested the way the pandemic has been handled in Texas was at the forefront of why he would consider a run. El Paso has struggled greatly, suffering 1,681 deaths since March, a far cry from Travis County's 654.

"It is particularly galling to me … that El Paso, in one of the hardest-hit states, was, if not is, the hardest-hit city," O'Rourke said. "So many people dying so quickly that you set up 10 mobile morgues. You have to call in the National Guard to haul the dead bodies, and you have a complete indifference on the part of Gov. Greg Abbott to what local leadership, including our county judge, Judge Samaniego, are trying to do to literally save the lives of the people in our lives."

During an oil and gas meeting yesterday, Abbott responded to the challenge, saying he didn't think O'Rourke's policies would be welcomed.

"You're talking about a person who says they want to run for governor who said, heck yes, he's going to come and take your guns. Heck yes, he's for open borders. Heck yes, he's for killing the energy sector and fossil fuels in the state of Texas," Abbott said. "I don't think that's going to sell real well."

In an extensive Twitter thread, O'Rourke countered Abbott's statements with the death toll in Texas due to COVID-19. After eight Tweets, he closed the thread saying whether or not he runs for governor, he would do everything in his power to elect a responsible official.

According to a Texas Tribune report, Abbott is "100%" running for reelection but he may have sights set on a White House bid, saying "we'll see what happens."

O'Rourke may not be the only one to challenge Abbott in 2022—speculation says that Abbott may also find himself up against Texas GOP Chairman Allen West.

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