El Paso, TX

Beto has a big bold vision for Texas

Euri Giles | Clareifi

Beto O'Rourke is no stranger to politics, and in his hometown of El Paso, he's something of a celebrity. The 49-year-old former Texas congressman rose to national prominence in 2018 when he mounted an unsuccessful but surprisingly competitive challenge to Republican Sen. Ted Cruz. That run was followed by a short-lived presidential bid in 2020.

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Georgetown, TX, USA - Jan. 22, 2022: Beto O'Rourke, Democratic Party candidate for governor, poses for a photo with a young female supporterPhoto by Vic Hinterlang / shutterstock.com

Now, O'Rourke is setting his sights on another Texas statewide office: governor.

When O'Rourke formally announced his candidacy for governor of Texas in 2022, he stated that he's running because he thinks that the state needs new leadership.

"I'm running for governor because we need a leader who will get back to the big, bold vision that used to define Texas," O'Rourke said in his announcement video. "A state that meets its obligations to our children with great public schools and affordable health care. A state that stands up for immigrants and Dreamers. A state that finally lives up to its potential."

In his announcement video, Beto also spoke about the challenges that Texas is facing, such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the winter storms that left millions of Texans without power or clean water for days.

"We face big challenges in our state," O'Rourke said. "We're coming out of a once-in-a-generation pandemic that has taken so much from us, and we're still dealing with the aftermath of last month's winter storm."

O'Rourke went on to say that he believes Texas can be a leader in addressing these challenges, but only if it has the right kind of leadership.

"I know Texas can be a leader in meeting these challenges, but we're only going to do it if we have the right kind of leadership," O'Rourke said. "Leadership that puts people first, that's honest about the problems we face, and that's willing to work with anyone to get things done."

Beto's campaign priorities include:

  • Power Grid & Utility Bills
  • COVID
  • World-Class Schools
  • High-Quality Jobs
  • Affordable Health Care
  • Reproductive Health
  • Rural Investment
  • Voting Rights
  • Energy Leadership
  • Gun Safety
  • Marijuana Legalization
  • Border & Immigration
  • Veterans

Of the issues listed above, O'Rourke and his team, have made sure to contrast his proposed policies and vision against Greg Abbott's current administration agenda.

When discussing Education in Texas, O'Rourke stated, "When I talk to teachers across the state, they tell me they lack the resources and flexibility they need to fully unlock a lifelong love of learning in the students in their classroom. Greg Abbott has underfunded Texas schools by $4,000 per student compared to the national average, and our hyper-focus on standardized testing has tied the hands of educators, forcing them to teach to a test instead of teaching to the children in front of them."

Beto again pointed out one of the ways he sees his incumbent challenger to be on the wrong side of history, is regarding gun safety, including laws and regulations. O'Rourke has stated, "When I’m governor, we will repeal permitless carry."

Referring to legislation passed earlier this year by Abbot. O'Rourke further stated, "Instead of working with Texans to address these challenges, Governor Abbott turned his back on law enforcement and Texans from across the state when he signed into law the dangerous permitless carry measure that allows almost any Texan to carry a loaded gun in public with no background check, training, or permit."

These are just a few of the priorities that make up O'Rourke's plan to "get back to the big, bold vision that used to define Texas."

It could be one of the most expensive gubernatorial races.

O'Rourke has positioned himself as the democratic challenger to incumbent governor Greg Abbott who O'Rourke states is too closely tied to big business, and influenced by the deep pockets they have for donations to his campaign coffers. O'Rourke himself has been able to raise a significant amount of campaign funds though he runs a more grassroots campaign, with more small donations from a large base as of Feb. 19 O'Rourke's campaign had just a little under $7 million in the bank. He is expected to receive support from some of the same national donors who supported his Senate and Presidential bids. Meanwhile, Abbott has a reported cash balance of $49.8 million.

The 2022 Texas gubernatorial election is still more than half a year away, but Beto O'Rourke is already making a strong case that he's the right person to lead Texas into the future.

What do you think, is Beto right for Texas?

Let us hear your comments and feedback below.

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Euri Giles covers lifestyle content, politics, and news near you in Texas.

El Paso, TX
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