Beto O’Rourke Says He’ll Focus On Turning The State House Blue

Instead of running for the Senate, the former presidential candidate wants to help his party’s candidates take advantage of trends he says are moving in their favor.

By Jill AmentDecember 3, 2019 10:08 am

After he left the 2020 presidential race, some wondered what former El Paso Congressman Beto O’Rourke would do next. Turns out he intends to focus his attention on flipping control of the Texas House of Representatives to Democrats.

Sean Theriault is a professor at the University of Texas in Austin’s Department of Government, focusing on American political institutions. He says that despite failing in his presidential bid, O’Rourke still has a massive email list, built over his 2018 Senate run, and his presidential campaign.

Theriault says the margin of victory in nearly 20 state House districts won by GOP members in 2018 was less than 10 points, offering opportunity for Democratic candidates. O’Rourke says he won those districts in 2018.

“He thinks he still has a role to play in helping the Democratic Party out,” Theriault says.

Democrats might not win the House in 2020, Theriault says, but they could make gains that lead to dominance in future elections. As for O’Rourke, helping Democrats at the state level could earn him loyalty from those politicians, when and if he makes another run for office, himself.


Written by Shelly Brisbin.