Beto O'Rourke teases 'big announcement' amid 2020 speculation


Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) teased a “big announcement” political future as speculation grows that the former senate candidate has his sights set on the White House in 2020.

His camp sent out an email blast to supporters inviting them to be the first to know about O’Rourke’s next move but did not clarify the date when the announcement will be made.

“There’s been an outpouring of speculation, excitement, and support from people across the country — everyone eagerly waiting for the news. Many of us are crossing our fingers and hoping that Beto has decided to run,” the email said.

O’Rourke shot to national prominence last year after his insurgent bid to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz transfixed the Democratic Party base and raked in a record amount of small, individual donations. Though he fell short by under three points in the ruby red Lone Star State, the enthusiasm around his campaign sparked widespread calls for the former congressman to run for president in 2020.

“And now I’m ready for us to bring our movement to the rest of the country. It’s the exact kind of campaign that America needs right now, and it’s why so many of us are hoping that Beto has decided to launch a campaign for President of the United States,” Cynthia Cano, the deputy campaign manager for O’Rourke’s Senate bid, said in the email.

O’Rourke has already turned down repeated entreaties from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to forego a White House bid and instead take on Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) next year. He emerged to a raucous ovation when he made a surprise appearance Saturday at the South by Southwest festival in Austin for the premier of a documentary about his Senate campaign.

The Texas Democrat would face an already packed primary field should he throw his hat into the ring. High caliber candidates like Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and more have already announced their campaigns, and former Vice President Joe Biden is also expected to make a White House run.

Though he would have to make up some ground in the fundraising battle against other candidates, some of whom have already been campaigning for months, O’Rourke could turn to his 2018 campaign strategy to try to replenish his coffers from small, individual donations from across the country.

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