Beto O'Rourke has officially joined the race for Texas governor
The 2022 race for Texas Governor just gained its first democratic challenger, with O'Rourke announcing his candidacy.
On Monday, O'Rourke shared the news in a two-minute video on Twitter, citing the power grid failure during the worst winter storm to hit Texas in nearly 70 years as a motivator to challenge Gov. Abbott.
"This past February, when the electricity grid failed, and millions of our fellow Texans were without power – which meant the lights wouldn't turn on, the heat wouldn't run, and pretty soon their pipes froze, and the water stopped flowing – they were abandoned by those who were elected to serve and look out for them," he explained.
The El Paso, Texas native went on to say that this failure was a symptom of a much larger problem at hand within the state's current leadership.
"Those in positions of public trust have stopped listening to, serving and paying attention to, and trusting the people of Texas. And so they're not focused on the things that we really want them to do, like making sure we have a functioning electricity grid," O'Rourke said.
The 49-year-old also named several additional items he believed Texans often agree upon that have been ignored by state officials.
In O'Rourke's opinion, these items include creating the best jobs within the state, ensuring people have access to world-class schools, expanding Medicaid, and legalizing marijuana, which is currently listed as a Schedule 1 drug in Texas – the most severe classification of a drug.
The former US representative made sure to call out the actions of Gov. Abbott without citing him by name, saying, "Instead, they're focusing on the kind of extremist policies around abortion, or permitless carry, or even in our schools that really only divide us and keep us apart."
O'Rourke's announcement comes after months of speculation whether he would challenge Gov. Abbott in the 2022 election.
But just because O'Rourke put his hat in the ring doesn't mean he'll be the one to take on Abbott in November 2022. First, he'll have to win the Democratic primary in March.
Cover photo: Collage: Imago/ZUMA Wire