Draft Beto 2020 PAC launches

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Draft Beto 2020 PAC
Congressman Beto O'Rourke speaking in Austin on November 4th 2018. Image: crockodile (CC2.0)

Three New England Democrats who believe Beto O’Rourke should be the next President of the United States have formally launched the Draft Beto 2020 PAC.

Meanwhile in Texas, the outgoing congressman has retracted his promise not to make a  a White House run.

Is Beto running?

During his recent unsuccessful bid for the US Senate, O’Rourke firmly ruled out a White House run.

Speaking to MSNBC’s Garrett Haake on November 5th he said, “I will not be a candidate for president in 2020. That’s, I think, as definitive as those sentences get.”

But on Monday at a town hall for his constituents in El Paso, broadcast on Facebook Live, he was asked again about his plans. This time, O’Rourke was willing to consider a possible run.

Referring to his wife Amy, the congressman explained that he would finish the last few weeks of his current Congressional term and then the couple would decide what to do next.

“Running for Senate, I was 100% focused on our campaign, winning that race, and then serving the next six years in the United States Senate. That was 100% of our focus. Now that that is no longer possible, you know, we’re thinking through a number of things. Amy and I made a decision not to rule anything out.”

When asked by reporters if this was a shift in his position he said, “Yeah, it is.”

Draft Beto 2020 launches

A day after O’Rourke floated the possibility of a run, three New England-based activists launched their own attempt to convince him to take the plunge.

The next presidential election is nearly two years away, but Lauren Pardi, Adam Webster, and Will Herberich think there action is needed now.

In an email sent to thousands of supporters, the group wrote, “We believe strongly in Beto’s potential candidacy and think it’s critical to start organizing now. In a field that could include more than a dozen candidates, there’s not a moment to waste.”

The email also cited a recent POLITICO poll which ranked O’Rourke as third choice among Democratic voters – an impressive figure considering how little national name recognition the El Paso native had until six months ago.

After launching its website yesterday, Draft Beto 2020 now plans a social media push and have scheduled a campaign kick-off conference call on December 9th.

Can he do it?

Beto O’Rourke is not the only young Democrat with a cult-like following to have a draft campaign PAC recently launch in his honor. The PETE PAC to draft South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg launched earlier this month.

But unlike Mayor Pete, O’Rourke is now a national figure, and has wowed political insiders with his ability to raise campaign contributions.

The Draft Beto 2020 PAC believe replicating O’Rourke’s recent Senate campaign on a national level is exactly what is required.

“By knitting together a diverse coalition,” it says on the website, “Beto turned out millions of new voters – and came closer to turning Texas blue than any candidate in the last 20 years….This is exactly the type of campaign Democrats need to run nationally in 2020.”

If enough fellow-Democrats agree, Beto could end up being very hard to beat.

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