Former El Paso congressman and 2020 presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke may be looking to challenge Texas Governor Greg Abbott in the 2022 elections.
Axios reported Sunday that O’Rourke will make " an announcement expected later this year " declaring his run at the governorship.
O’Rourke is a former El Paso City Council representative, three-term congressman, 2018 U.S. senator candidate and voting rights activist.
A poll from the Dallas Morning News reported that O’Rourke is narrowing the gap with Abbott. Hypothetical matchups between the two show O’Rourke trailing Abbott 37% – 42%, O’Rourke faced a 12-point deficit in July, 33%-45%.
Fireside Campaigns, a digital and communications consulting firm that’s working with O’Rourke, provided the El Paso Times with a statement from David Wysong, O’Rourke’s former House chief of staff and longtime adviser.
"No decision has been made," Wysong said. "He has been making and receiving calls with people from all over the state."
No Democrat has been elected governor of Texas since Ann Richards in 1990.
Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa said he’s been encouraging O’Rouke to enter the 2022 race ever since the 2020 election cycle ended on Election Day last November.
"I think everybody in the leadership in the state among the rank and file of this state is," Hinojosa said.
Until O’Rourke announces his decision, other potential candidates are sitting on their hands, given the former congressman’s standing in the party and given his fundraising prowess, Hinojosa said.
"It’s not only on the governor’s race but in a lot of the down ballot races," Hinojosa said. "People are waiting to see what he does because it makes a big difference (who is) at the top of the ticket. It’s certainly is going to increase the enthusiasm level."