Beto O'Rourke to Deliver Paul Quinn College Commencement Address

WASHINGTON -- Presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke will deliver the commencement address at historically black Paul Quinn College in Dallas on May 4.The campaign announced the visit Wednesday morning.The former El Paso congressman stumped at Paul Quinn twice during last year's Senate race. This time is different. He's one of 20 Democrats seeking the nomination for president, and for him -- and fellow Texan Julian Castro, a former San Antonio mayor and housing secretary -- the home state primary is both a firewall and test.Doing poorly at home could be fatal. Texans cast ballots on Super Tuesday, the first Tuesday in March. It's the biggest prize of the day after California. While much of the focus remains on Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, the flurry of contests that come next cannot be ignored, and O'Rourke's stop in Dallas could plant important seeds.Hundreds of local Democrats and students turned out to see him at Paul Quinn on Oct. 6, a Saturday a month before Election Day, during a week-long campus tour that took him to a dozen colleges around the state. He came within 3 percentage points of unseating Sen. Ted Cruz -- the best showing for a Democrat in any statewide contest in Texas since 1994, with more votes than any Democrat had ever collected in Texas, for president, Senate or any other office.He stumped at Paul Quinn in early June, too, on opening day of a month-long program to help new students acclimate before freshman year. A video on his campaign Facebook page shows president Michael Sorrell driving him across the campus in southern Dallas."This is a highlight in my life -- big moment," O'Rourke says. "You know that you finally made it when President Sorrell of Paul Quinn College is driving you in his golf cart to the first day of the Summer Bridge Program."  Continue reading...

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