Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, a congressman from Texas who failed in his bid to become the state’s next U.S. Senator in 2018, is now running for the Democratic nomination for president.
Stacey Abrams, a former minority leader in the Georgia State House of Representatives, failed to win her bid for that state’s governorship. Now she too is considering a bid for the presidency. Dan Balz reports in The Independent:
Stacey Abrams, who narrowly lost her bid to become governor of Georgia last autumn, has a series of decisions to make.
Should she run for the Senate in 2020? Should she wait until 2022 to run again for governor? Or, audaciously, should she join the crowded field of candidates seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination?
Losing campaigns are not the normal launching pad for a run for the White House. But these are not normal times, and Ms Abrams, who came within a percentage point and a half of becoming the first African-American female governor in US history, is in the unusual – some might say enviable – position of being encouraged to think about running for president.
Ms Abrams, who was the former minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives, sat down last week with Steven Ginsberg, The Washington Post‘s national editor, and talked about the choices, the timetable and what kind of presidential campaign she would run.
If she decides to make the leap, the campaign would talk about race and identity, organising, voter engagement and voter suppression, among other things.
“I think that I am a skilled communicator,” she said. “I think I’m a very good thinker. No, I know I’m a good thinker. I know I have policy chops. I have foreign policy experience. . . . I’ve done a great deal of work on a number of issues. But I need to make certain that I am the best person at this moment for that job and that’s what I need to think about.”
O’Rourke meanwhile, with a whopping six years in the House of Representatives and a fresh loss to Ted Cruz under his belt, is raising a tremendous amount of money from Democrat donors. Raising money seems to be what O’Rourke does best, having raised three times what Cruz (one of the least liked men in the Senate) did, and still losing. In his first day after declaring his bid, O’Rourke raised over $6.1 million. Reuters reports:
Democrat Beto O’Rourke raised more than $6.1 million in the first day after declaring his candidacy for his party’s 2020 presidential nomination last week, his campaign said on Monday, highlighting his fundraising prowess in a crowded field.
His fundraising puts him at the top of a Democratic pack of more than a dozen candidates including Bernie Sanders, the independent U.S. senator who unsuccessfully sought the Democratic Party’s nomination in 2016. Sanders raised $5.9 million in the first 24 hours of his 2020 campaign.
O’Rourke kicked off his presidential campaign on Thursday in a video on social media and joined a Democratic field that includes a number of veteran U.S. lawmakers.
The former congressman from Texas raised a record $38.1 million in one quarter, out of a total $80 million, for his failed 2018 effort to unseat Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, more than in any other U.S. Senate race and more than three times what Cruz raised.