From El Paso to a White House Run, Here Are 18 Things to Know About Beto O’Rourke

WASHINGTON -- Beto O’Rourke is running for the Democratic presidential nomination. Just two years ago, he was an obscure congressman from El Paso, but hit the national scene after he decided to challenge Republican Ted Cruz for Senate.He didn’t win, but he raised $80 million and captured national attention. Here’s what you need to know about him.1) He gained national attention for the first time in 2017 when he did a “Bipartisan Road Trip” with Republican Congressman Will Hurd of San Antonio.Despite how partisan politics have become, O’Rourke and Hurd proved civility can exist. In 2017 when a snowstorm hit the East and canceled flights to Washington, the two lawmakers drove from San Antonio back to the Capitol minutes before a vote took place. Over the course the 36 hour trip full of debates, singalongs and doughnuts. Last July, Allegheny College bestowed the 2018 Prize for Civility in Public Life to O’Rourke and Hurd.2) O’Rourke likes to take on incumbents.O’Rourke challenging Sen. Ted Cruz is not the first time he took on the incumbent. Prior to Washington, O’Rourke was just a member of the El Paso City Council. He decided in 2012 to challenge Rep. Silvestre Reyes, an eight-term member who was endorsed by then-President Barack Obama and former president Bill Clinton campaigned for him.O’Rourke won the primary by about 3,000 votes and won the general election in November.3) New York was not meant for Beto.O’Rourke took time to figure out what to do next after the Senate race. As he traveled around the country, he admitted in his blog that he was going through a funk. This is currently not the first time he has found himself in this position. O’Rourke spent seven years of his life, four attending Columbia University and three after graduation, in New York. It served as a learning tool for the Democrat, showing his gift for gab and developing a circle of friends that remain close confidants, but it came with it challenges. In a New York Times profile, O’Rourke’s worked on a variety of jobs such as a live-in nanny, working at an uncle’s tech company, moving fine fine pieces of art and an attempt to break into the publishing world. By late 1995, O’Rourke had fallen into his deepest depression he could remember. By the late 1990s, he had a vision to return home and he called his parents to let them know. O’Rourke bought a truck on Long Island for $1,000, packed his things and headed back to El Paso.4) O’Rourke should anticipate continuing to answer questions about his 1998 DWI arrest.Candidates running for office understand any wrongs committed in the past can be brought up again. One particular incident raised some new questions during the midterms. In 1998, O’Rourke was arrested outside of El Paso for a DWI and speeding outside of El Paso. He admitted to the arrested during his first congressional run in 2012. What became new during the Senate race was O’Rourke lost control of his vehicle and hit a truck, careening into the median. According to records obtained by the Houston Chronicle, a witness reported that he tried to flee the scene. O’Rourke completed a pretrial court-approved diversion program and had the charges dismissed. When the arrest came up in the first debate against Cruz, he denied trying to flee the scene. Some outlets are not buying it. Politifact scored the statement as mostly false and the Washington Post gave it four Pinocchios.  Continue reading...

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