Rep.-elect Veronica Escobar (D-Tex.) said Monday that the lawmaker she is succeeding in the House, Beto O’Rourke (D-Tex.), should run for president in 2020.
O’Rourke narrowly lost in his bid to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) in the midterm elections. But O’Rourke’s campaign electrified Democrats in Texas and the country, with the progressive three-term congressman stoking speculation of national aspirations and amassing a $70 million war chest.
In an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Escobar said she asked O’Rourke about his plans over dinner while she was in Washington for freshman orientation. She said O’Rourke’s immediate plans are to spend time with his family in Texas.
“I think he should run. I really do,” Escobar said, calling O’Rourke the kind of “credible public servant that our country has been longing for.”
O’Rourke had previously pledged not to run for any office within the next six years if he won election to the Senate.
While O’Rourke came up short against Cruz, Escobar credited him with running a largely positive campaign that she said “fired up” voters who had previously felt shut out of the process.
“We owe such a debt of gratitude to Beto . . . He does it in a beautiful, genuine way that really touches people, and I think that’s what our country needs right now,” Escobar said.
Several top Democratic donors and potential staffers are awaiting word of O’Rourke’s 2020 plans before making a decision on signing up with any of the other potential campaigns, Politico reported Monday.
O’Rourke “should run . . . He’s Barack Obama, but white,” one Democratic bundler was quoted as saying.