Beto O’Rourke, who narrowly lost to Ted Cruz in the 2018 Texas Senate race, has announced he is seeking the US 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. Revealing his candidacy in an online video, Mr O’Rourke said: “This is a defining moment of truth for this country and for every single one of us. ”The challenges that we face right now, the interconnected crises in our economy, our democracy and our climate have never been greater. “And they will either consume us, or they will afford us the greatest opportunity to unleash the genius of the United States of America,
“In other words, this moment of peril produces, perhaps, the greatest moment of promise for this country and for everyone inside of it.”
While making his impassioned speech, the Texan was seated next to wife, Amy Hoover Sanders, who looked on at him adoringly.
Who is Beto O’Rourke?
Former three-term US congressman Mr O’Rourke came to greater prominence in 2018 after running against Republican Ted Cruz for a Senate seat.
Although he lost, the margin was narrow and his energised campaign drew comparisons with former US President Barack Obama.
He identifies as a centrist ‘New Democrat’ and has distanced himself from progressives within his party.
Mr O’Rourke, whose real name is Robert, was nicknamed ‘Beto’ short for ‘Roberto’ in Spanish to distinguish him from his grandfather and namesake.
The punk music enthusiast speaks fluent Spanish and studied English literature at Columbia University.
After graduating, Mr O’Rourke ran a software company for a while before being elected to El Paso’s city council.
Seven years later he ran against the incumbent Democratic congressman, Silvestre Reyes, and won in the Latino-majority district.
He was re-elected twice.
Mr O’Rourke was arrested for driving while intoxicated in 1998 and this is likely to come up during his presidential bid after doing so in past political campaigning.
The father-of-three has said what he did was “a terrible mistake for which there is no excuse or justification” and has said he was grateful for a second chance.
Mr O’Rourke married wife Amy, the daughter of real estate businessman William Sander, in 2005.
They married at her parents’ ranch in New Mexico.
The couple have two sons and a daughter.