One of the most significant Texas political personalities right now is Beto O’Rourke. Though he failed at his last two election efforts, he managed to build up political equity in the process. Now, he’s planning to leverage it with his new political action committee, or PAC, Powered by People.
University of Houston political science professor Brandon Rottinghaus says O’Rourke’s PAC is an “investment in the future” of the Democratic Party in Texas.
“It’s a way for O’Rourke, who was an electric superstar for the Democrats in 2018, to kind of invest in the Party’s infrastructure,” Rottinghaus says, “and to try to generate some kind of interest and energy about the Democratic Party.”
While O’Rourke eschewed PAC money during his campaigns, Rottinghaus says PACs are the only way to really help Democrats succeed in Texas. For the first time in years, the Party has a chance to take control of the statehouse in 2020.
“They’re within striking distance,” Rottinghaus says. “So a PAC, even if he doesn’t necessarily like the precise way it happens, is really gonna make the Democrats competitive in a way that they weren’t before.”
The goal of the PAC will be to raise money, recruit candidates and register new voters.
“That’s a way for the money to be able to be put to good use, to build an infrastructure and to get eyeballs in front of the Democratic line,” Rottinghaus says.
Written by Caroline Covington.