August 2, 2018 500 AM
FORT DAVIS – Supporters of El Paso Congressman Beto O’Rourke gathered in the Hotel Limpia courtyard on Sunday afternoon to hear the Democrat politician challenging Ted Cruz for Texas’ junior senatorial seat speak of his political vision for Texas and the country.
The energy of the crowd was palpable, and rightly so, considering that O’Rourke has outraised Cruz every quarter besides one since his campaign launch in March 2017, all while not taking corporate PAC money and solely relying on small-donor donations, averaging $33.
Fort Davis was O’Rourke’s first stop on his 34-day road trip across the state, where he will be holding nearly 100 similar town hall events.
O’Rourke spoke to the crowd for nearly an hour, at the onset he spoke of lighter matters, his family, his connections to the area and how he had just dropped off his son at Prude Ranch. After the lightheartedness, his speech deviated into more grave areas, such as the Trump administration’s immigration practices, and the need to reunite children separated at the border with their parents.
O’Rourke also discussed the U.S. abhorrent prison population and how it correlates to the war on drugs, which he equated to as a “war on people.” He also noted that the U.S. is far behind the rest of the industrialized world in guaranteeing healthcare to its citizens and as Senator he would strive for universal coverage.
After his speech, a microphone was passed around for attendees to ask questions. When asked if he would endorse Gina Ortiz Jones who is running as a Democrat in Texas’s 23rd congressional district, he said that he wouldn’t endorse her or her opponent, Will Hurd. He reasoned with the crowd that he didn’t want to add to the divisive nature of the current political climate and that he and Hurd have worked together in the past, and he wouldn’t want to jeopardize this rare bipartisan relationship.
As the November 6 election day nears, O’Rourke and Cruz have agreed to five debates, the first taking place on Aug. 31 in Dallas. Still to be negotiated is a debate in El Paso, the sixth largest city in Texas.