Former Rep. Beto O’RourkeBeto O’RourkeBiden will help close out Texas Democrats’ virtual convention: report O’Rourke on Texas reopening: ‘Dangerous, dumb and weak’ Parties gear up for battle over Texas state House MORE (D-Texas) is not running for Senate again but likely will announce a presidential bid soon, The Dallas Morning News reported Wednesday, citing sources close to O’Rourke.
Several people close to O’Rourke told the newspaper that he is expected to launch a presidential campaign in the next few weeks as Democrats gear up to take on President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE in 2020.
“Amy and I have made a decision about how we can best serve our country,” O’Rourke said in a statement to The Dallas Morning News. “We are excited to share it with everyone soon.”
O’Rourke has been eyed as a potential top Democratic contender for 2020 after amassing a big social media following during his closely watched race against Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote The Hill’s Morning Report – Trump’s public standing sags after Floyd protests GOP senators introduce resolution opposing calls to defund the police MORE (R-Texas) last year.
The former Congressman came within 3 percentage points of winning, having raised more than $70 million, mostly from small donors.
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O’Rourke previously said he would make a decision on whether to launch a White House bid by the end of the month.
He also suggested he was considering running for Senate again against Sen. John CornynJohn CornynSenate headed for late night vote amid standoff over lands bill Koch-backed group launches ad campaign to support four vulnerable GOP senators Tim Scott to introduce GOP police reform bill next week MORE (R-Texas), saying that he had met with Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerOvernight Health Care: US showing signs of retreat in battle against COVID-19 | Regeneron begins clinical trials of potential coronavirus antibody treatment | CMS warns nursing homes against seizing residents’ stimulus checks Schumer requests briefing with White House coronavirus task force as cases rise Schumer on Trump’s tweet about 75-year-old protester: He ‘should go back to hiding in the bunker’ MORE (D-N.Y.) about a potential bid.
O’Rourke would join a crowded — and diverse — Democratic race for the presidential nomination, including Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook McEnany says Juneteenth is a very ‘meaningful’ day to Trump MORE (D-Calif.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names MORE (D-Mass.).
Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE also has indicated he’s almost certain to run, though he has yet to make an announcement.
A Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll released exclusively to The Hill this week showed Biden leading the field of potential Democratic contenders, followed by Sanders and Harris, who placed second and third, respectively.
O’Rourke came in at fourth, with 6 percent support.
The 46-year-old, little known nationally until his Texas Senate run last year, has inspired aides and allies of former President Obama, who say they could support him if he decides to run for president in 2020.
He also likely would be able to raise money quickly, tapping into the small donor base that fueled his Texas Senate run, a major consideration after Sanders raised $6 million in the 24 hours following his presidential bid announcement.
But O’Rourke also has attracted grumblings for his overreliance on social media, including livestreaming a dentist appointment, and for dragging out his decision regarding a presidential run.
Updated at 6:37 p.m.