Beto O’Rourke says he doesn’t plan to run against Texas Gov. Abbott

DALLAS, Texas — Former Democratic El Paso Congressman Beto O’Rourke said Friday that he doesn’t intend to run against incumbent Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, putting to rest speculation that he would launch a challenge to the governor’s re-election bid next year.

O’Rourke made the announcement in an interview with the Dallas Morning News that was published Friday afternoon.

“I’ve got no plans to run, and I’m very focused on the things that I’m lucky enough to do right now — organizing, registering voters and teaching. I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing now,” O’Rourke told DMN, referring to his political action committee called ‘Powered by People’ and his political science course teaching at the University of Texas and Texas State University.

“That’s the work that is most important right now and I don’t want to distract from it by talking about a campaign or running for office,” he added.

O’Rourke came close to defeating GOP U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas in 2018, which left many Texas Democrats thinking he would be the party’s best shot at denying Abbott a third gubernatorial term.

In his DMN interview, O’Rourke suggested two other Democrats that he felt could defeat Abbott if either of them opted to run.

“How about a Democrat like Clay Jenkins, the county judge of Dallas County, who has, in contrast, absolutely distinguished himself in the professionalism with which he’s met both the pandemic and the rollout of the vaccine,” O’Rourke told the newspaper. “How about somebody like Lina Hidalgo, the county judge in Harris County, who has disregarded the polls and the conventional wisdom and instead followed the best public health advice and science and guidance from medical practitioners.”

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