Beto O'Rourke running for Texas governor against GOP incumbent Abbott

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Former Texas congressman, Democratic presidential candidate, and Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke announced Monday that he is running for governor, setting himself up for a potential 2022 general election battle with incumbent Republican Gov. Greg Abbott. 

“I’m running for governor,” O’Rourke said in a video announcement Monday. 

FILE – In this July 24, 2019, file photo, former Democratic presidential candidate former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, speaks during a candidates’ forum at the 110th NAACP National Convention in Detroit.  (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

“Together, we can push past the small and divisive politics that we see in Texas today — and get back to the big, bold vision that used to define Texas,” he added in a tweet. 

O’Rourke enters a Democratic primary field that did not yet include any high-profile names. Abbot, meanwhile, will have to fend off a primary challenge from former Texas GOP chairman Allen West. 

O’Rourke in his announcement video attacked Texas Republicans on a number of issues, including the catastrophic power grid failures last winter. 

Former Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke speaks during an American Federation of Teachers town hall, Tuesday, June 25, 2019, in North Miami, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

“This past February when the elecricity grid failed and millions of our fellow Texans were without power… they were abandoned by those who were elected to serve and look our for them,” he said. “Those in positions of public trust have stopped listening to, serving, paying attention to, and trusting the people of Texas.”

Republicans, meanwhile, dismissed the idea that the perennial candidate has a chance of being Texas’ next governor. 

“Texas voters have already rejected Beto O’Rourke for statewide office, and they’ll do so again now that they know just how radical he really is,” Republican Governors Association spokesperson Joanna Rodriguez said in a statement. “Beto 2.0 vowed to confiscate the firearms of law-abiding citizens, pledged to tear down physical barriers along the border, and supported regulations that would kill over a million jobs across the state and raise taxes and the cost of living on families and small businesses. There’s no telling how far Beto 3.0 will go in his vain attempt to stay relevant after running out of promotions to chase in Washington.”

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