Former Texas Representative and 2020 presidential election candidate Beto O'Rourke, may be throwing his hat into the political ring once again. For the last few months, O’Rourke has held open the possibility he could challenge Governor Greg Abbott next year for his third term. Axios reported earlier this month that O'Rourke is slated to make "an announcement expected later this year."
The El Paso congressman's rumored run for office comes after Abbott's approval ratings plummeted within recent months. The governor has made some controversial moves by signing new legislation such as the Anti-Voting Bill and criminalizing abortions, leaving Abbott with a 50 percent disapproval rating, according to the Texas Politics Project. The Axios report also cites that O'Rourke has been "calling political allies to solicit their advice," leading many to believe that the Texas official is getting serious about the upcoming election. "No decision has been made," said David Wysong, O'Rourke's former House chief of staff in a statement. "He has been making and receiving calls with people from all over the state."
Aside from speaking with colleagues, O'Rourke's actions as of late have shown some semblance of a potential run. The voting rights activist has been fighting back against Republican-backed legislation and raising funds for Democratic lawmakers.
Many Texas Democrats are simultaneously rooting for him. State Chair of the Democratic Party Gilberto Hinojosa, told Axios that the party is hopeful Beto will run. "We think he can beat Abbott because he’s vulnerable, " he said. Should O'Rourke enter the race, it would mark a significant stand, as a Democrat hasn't held the Texas governor seat since Ann Richards in 1990.
Despite the election being over a year out, candidates in the running for the Governor's seat are beginning to take shape. So far, six candidates have filed to run as either Democrat or Republican, and O'Rourke isn't the only gubernatorial hopeful. Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey has also hinted at entering the race. Although McConaughey would be poised as the elections wildcard, the "Dazed and Confused" actor has been polling significantly well, leading Abbott by 9 points, while O'Rourke trails Abbott by 5 points, per the Dallas Morning News.
For more information on Beto O'Rourke, visit his website.