WATCH: Beto's Running For President
EL PASO, TX -- In what has been one of the worst kept secrets in politics over the last six months Beto O'Rourke announced Thursday morning he is running for president. O'Rourke is fresh off a loss to Ted Cruz in what became a bit of a fairytale campaign. He came within three percentage points of Cruz and that's the closest margin any Democrat has come in Texas in a statewide race since 1994.
O'Rourke is a former three term Democratic congressman from El Paso who was largely unknown outside of El Paso until his challenge to the junior U.S. Senator in which O'Rourke made campaign stops in all 254 counties in Texas. He stopped in San Angelo on several occasions. The 'Beto Effect' has been credited for ousting dozens of Republican incumbent appeals court judges and members of the Texas House of Representatives in the November general election.
In a video announcement from El Paso Thursday morning, O'Rourke said, "Amy and I are happy to share with you that I'm running to serve you as the next president of the United States of America," "This is a defining moment of truth for this country and for every single one of us."
O'Rourke will likely become a front runner in the crowded Democratic field. In his failed Senate campaign O'Rourke raised $80 million in small donations and didn't directly take large donations from Political Action Committees. There have been efforts recently to draft O'Rourke to run for president. The media darling was interviewed by Oprah Winfrey in February.
The only other high profile Democrat who could win the nomination who has not announced a run yet is former Vice President Joe Biden.