A former punk rocker turned congressman from Texas announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate on Friday. His goal is to unseat Senator Ted Cruz.
Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke is the first prominent Democrat to challenge Cruz. He is a Spanish-speaking, Irish American who represents a predominantly Latino district that includes the border city of El Paso. He is considered a long shot in the Republican-dominated state.
O’Rourke’s outsider credentials are expected to add a flair to his campaign in 2018 where a Democrat has not won a state-wide election in more than 20 years.
As reported by the New York Daily News, O’Rouke is Ivy league educated and he announced his candidacy from a campaign launch in El Paso which was streamed on Facebook Live. During his announcement he pledged to fight for veterans, shun corporate money and serve only two terms in the Senate.
O’Rourke played guitar and provided vocals for the punk bank Foss in the 1990’s took a shot at Republican President Trump for his hard line stance on immigration, vowing to “fight when necessary against a president who is focused on building walls, or conducting military immigrant round-ups.”
Polls rate Cruz as the most popular politician in the state among Texans, whereas O’Rourke does not have any political support outside his base in El Paso.