Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke is an American
politician who represented Texas‘s 16th congressional district in the United
States House of Representatives
from 2013 to 2019. O’Rourke is best known for
his 2018 campaign for US Senate, which he lost to Republican incumbent Ted Cruz.
According to reports in the US media, he is preparing to run to be the governor
of Texas and may announce his candidature later this year.

Born on September 26, 1972, in El Paso, Texas into a local
political family, O’Rourke is a graduate of Woodberry Forest School and
Columbia University. He was elected to the El Paso City Council in 2005 and he
served there till 2011. O’Rourke was elected to the US House of Representatives
in 2012 after defeating eight-term incumbent Democrat Silvestre Reyes in the

He was re-elected to the seat in 2014 and 2016. O’Rourke
declined re-election in 2018 and challenged Republican Ted Cruz for the Senate
seat. O’Rourke set a record for most votes ever cast for a Democrat in a
midterm election in Texas. On November 6, 2018, Cruz defeated O’Rourke with a
slim margin of 50.9% to 48.3%. Despite his loss, O’Rourke took credit for the
election of several down-ticket candidates of the Democratic Party, which some
called the “Beto Effect”. For example, Republicans lost control of
the Texas Third and Fifth Courts of Appeals in the 2018 elections. Of 150 state
House seats, 12 formerly Republican seats were taken by Democrats, as well as
two of the state’s 31 state Senate seats. O’Rourke received over four million
votes, compared to Hillary Clinton, who received only 3.9 million votes in the
2016 presidential election in Texas, and David Alameel, the Democratic nominee
in the 2014 Texas Senate race, who received only 1.6 million votes.

On March 14, 2019, O’Rourke announced his campaign for
President in the 2020 United States presidential election. He suspended his
campaign on November 1, 2019, before the primaries began, and later endorsed
Joe Biden.