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EL PASO, Texas — Former Democrat Rep. Beto O’Rourke officially announced his candidacy for the Texas governorship, attempting to unseat Gov. Greg Abbott as he vies for his third term next year.
“I’m running for governor,” O’Rourke — whose 2018 campaign to unseat Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and 2020 presidential bid both ended in resounding defeat — said in a campaign announcement video posted to YouTube on Monday. His announcement played heavily into the failure of the power grid run by the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) — which saw over 4.5 million Texans lose power amid a series of winter storms earlier this year — with O’Rourke blaming Republican leadership for their handling of the green energy subsidy-induced disaster.
CBS News reports:
“When the electricity grid failed and those in power failed all of us, it was the people of Texas who were willing to put their differences behind them and get to work doing the job at hand, which meant helping our fellow Texans get through that crisis,” O’Rourke said. “We did this out of a sense of duty and responsibility to one another. Now imagine if the governor of Texas felt that same way. Well, there’s something that you and I can do about that.”
O’Rourke has also doubled down on his support for mandatory gun buyback programs, red flag laws, and a federal gun registry and licensing system, which he has touted for several years.
Fox News reports:
“Most of us understand the responsibility that comes with owning a firearm, and we will vigorously protect that Second Amendment right and also protect the lives of those around us,” he told The Texas Tribune, calling them weapons designed for the battlefield. “But I think most of us also understand that we should not have military-style weapons used against our fellow Texans. We have four of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history right here in Texas that took place over the last five years.”
This will be the first time O’Rourke takes that stance directly to Texas voters as he hopes to unseat Gov. Greg Abbott, an avid Second Amendment supporter.
“Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47,” O’Rourke said at a September 2019 Democratic primary debate, to thunderous applause from Democratic voters in the audience. “We’re not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore.”
How well one should expect such a platform to work for him in a statewide race in Texas — a state in which 45.7% of adults own guns — should be fairly self-evident.
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