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Beto O’Rourke says he has ‘no plans’ to run against Texas Gov. Abbott, but later clarifies he might in future

Beto O'Rourke (left) and Greg Abbott (right).
AP file photos
Beto O'Rourke (left) and Greg Abbott (right).

DALLAS, Texas -- Former Democratic El Paso Congressman Beto O'Rourke said Friday that he doesn't currently intend to run against incumbent Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott next year, but then later indicated that he might reconsider it in the future.

O’Rourke first ignited speculation that he would launch a challenge to the governor's re-election bid during an appearance on an El Paso radio show in January when he said he was "thinking about it."

O’Rourke's announcement that he's not planning a bid right now came in an interview with the Dallas Morning News that was published Friday afternoon.

“I’ve got no plans to run, and I’m very focused on the things that I’m lucky enough to do right now -- organizing, registering voters and teaching. I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing now,” O'Rourke told DMN, referring to his political action committee called 'Powered by People' and his political science course teaching at the University of Texas and Texas State University.

“That’s the work that is most important right now and I don’t want to distract from it by talking about a campaign or running for office," he added.

But then just a few hours after saying he had "no plans" to run for governor, O'Rourke sought to clarify that he might change his mind down the road.

"Nothing I said (to DMN) would preclude me from considering a run in the future," he said in a statement sent to the Texas Tribune on Friday evening.

O'Rourke came close to defeating GOP U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas in 2018, which left many Texas Democrats thinking he would be the party's best shot at denying Abbott a third gubernatorial term.

In his DMN interview, O'Rourke suggested two other Democrats that he felt could defeat Abbott if either of them opted to run.

“How about a Democrat like Clay Jenkins, the county judge of Dallas County, who has, in contrast, absolutely distinguished himself in the professionalism with which he’s met both the pandemic and the rollout of the vaccine,” O’Rourke told the Dallas newspaper. “How about somebody like Lina Hidalgo, the county judge in Harris County, who has disregarded the polls and the conventional wisdom and instead followed the best public health advice and science and guidance from medical practitioners.”

News / Politics / Texas / Top Stories

Jim Parker

Jim Parker is the Director of Digital Content for ABC-7.



    1. You can just sense the hatred and meaningless lives these gringos have: Madmike/memy357/Nado/ jeffallen/k1puto. Lol. They squirm everyday! Lol

    1. Who the hell is lina hidalgo? What work does she do now? Put an Hispanic name up there and idiots think WE the people are supposed to say, yea that’s the one? Scooby doo doo you are a complete idiot. And that is hard to do around alberto pedo muerto.

      1. Nadouche, all you have to know is that Hidalgo doesn’t share the one-sided, self-righteous prick ideology that YOU the Trumpturd people support.

    2. Yes because you need Democrat politicians to babysit you. Tell you to wear a mask, stand on tape line on the store floors and don’t travel. Come on Mark grow some balls and help yourself instead of depending on your loving Democrats to tell you what to do. Sheeesh man!

      1. Hey Delanders do you wear a seatbelt? Do you water on days based on your address? Do you drive the speed limit? Do you pay your property taxes by the due date? Do you get in line to pay? WELL GUESS WHAT IDIOT? YOU ARE A SHEEP. You are just too stupid to realize it. Like your other 5 buddies.

          1. Ok maybe those city ordinances don’t apply to trailer parks. But when you one a home, the city designates when you are allowed to WATER YOUR PLANTS/GRASS. Hello ? Anyone in there?

    3. Charlie, that is absolutely true. I’m more familiar with Clay Jenkins and he would also make a competent governor. Either way, they are both better than Abbott – he is the reason why Paxton is not in prison where he belongs.


    1. betito has money from his daddy that stole it from the taxpayers alberto pedo muerto. Just like you mooching on government subsidized apartments.

    1. The only stinker here is you alberto pedo muerto. Just cause you don’t know your real daddy and didn’t inherit anything is not a good reason to hate people that do have money. You are just a sycophant anyway. Mooching on whatever the government gives your tele tubby ass.

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