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Beto O'Rourke, former Democratic congressman, presidential candidate mulls run for Texas governor

"I want to make sure that we have someone in the highest office in our state to make sure that all of us are OK," O'Rourke said.

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Beto O'Rourke
Beto O'Rourke
(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Updated: January 29, 2021 - 10:16am

Former Texas Democratic congressman and failed 2020 presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke is considering a run for governor in 2022. He would be challenging incumbent Republican Gov. Greg Abbott.

"It's something I'm going to think about," O'Rourke said during a radio interview Monday. 

O'Rourke, in the interview, also criticized Abbott's handling of the coronavirus pandemic in Texas. 

"This state has suffered perhaps more than any other in the midst of this pandemic, in the midst of the worst recession since the Great Depression," he said. "And it is particularly galling to you and to me and everyone who is listening that El Paso in one of the hardest-hit states was, if not is, the hardest-hit city."

Prior to his brief presidential run, O'Rourke ran in 2018 against incumbent Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz is a close, nationalized race that Cruz won.

Texas has long been a Red state that Democrats have in recent years tried to flip. Changing demographics, including more liberal-minded voters in densely populated voting bloc Houston and Dallas, has helped them come closer in several recent races including the 2020 presidential election and the O'Rourke-Cruz contest.

"I want to make sure that we have someone in the highest office in our state to make sure that all of us are OK," O'Rourke also said in the interview. "Whether I'm a candidate for governor or I support someone who's a candidate for governor, I want to make sure that we have excellence in leadership and that excellence goes to every single part of the state, including ours."