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Democrat O'Rourke to challenge Abbott in 2022 for Texas governorship, report

In 2018, O’Rourke made a strong bid to unset Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz.

Updated: September 19, 2021 - 3:02pm

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Former Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke is reportedly preparing to run for governor of Texas in 2022, a move that would likely help Democrats nationalize a race against incumbent GOP Gov. Greg Abbott. 

The plan was reported by Axios, based on information from Texas political operatives. 

In 2018, O’Rourke made a strong bid to unseat Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz, losing 51-to-48%. Democrats have for years predicted turning the state from Red to Blue. However, Republican incumbent President Donald Trump in 2020 won the state by 52%, the same margin as in 2016, despite losing reelection. 

David Wysong, O'Rourke's former House chief of staff and a longtime adviser, pushed back on the Axios report, saying, “No decision has been made. [O’Rourke] has been making and receiving calls with people from all over the state."

A new Dallas Morning News poll shows O'Rourke trailing Abbott 37%-42%, but having narrowed the gap by 12 points since July, while a separate poll shows Abbott’s approval rating dropping to 41%.

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