Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke announced on July 14th, 2019 that he will not run for reelection in the U.S. House of Representatives. O’Rourke had represented Texas’s 16th Congressional District since 2013, but now plans to focus full-time on his presidential campaign.
Without O’Rourke in the picture, six other candidates will compete in the primary for the Democratic ticket. These include candidates like MJ Hegar, the former Air Force helicopter pilot, and Michael Cooper, a Houston businessman.
O’Rourke had gained significant national attention in 2018 when he launched and ultimately lost a closely contested Senate race against Republican incumbent Ted Cruz. However, despite his unsuccessful bid, O’Rourke has enjoyed a surge in popularity since then and earlier this month, he raised an impressive $10 million in campaign funds in the first 24 hours after he announced his presidential run.
It remains to be seen if O’Rourke’s decision to drop out of House Contention will affect his presidential aspirations in any way, or if his popularity will continue to surge as his campaign progresses.