O'Rourke drops out of 2020 presidential race

David Knowles

Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke announced Friday that he will no longer seek the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.

“Though it is difficult to accept, it is clear to me now that this campaign does not have the means to move forward successfully,” O’Rourke wrote in a post on Medium. “My service to the country will not be as a candidate or as the nominee. Acknowledging this now is in the best interests of those in the campaign; it is in the best interests of this party as we seek to unify around a nominee; and it is in the best interests of the country.”

While O’Rourke, a native of El Paso, came close to defeating incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018, he has resisted efforts by members of the Democratic Party to get him to run again in his home state against Sen. John Cornyn.

O’Rourke’s 2020 bid quickly flagged in a crowded field of more experienced presidential contenders. Following a mass shooting in El Paso in August, he made gun control a central issue of his campaign, vowing to initiate mandatory buybacks of assault weapons in addition to a nationwide ban on their sale if he was elected.

Beto Rourke
Former Texas Rep. Beto Rourke speaking at a rally in Grand Prairie, Texas, last month. (Photo: Tony Gutierrez/AP)

O’Rourke declined to endorse another Democrat in the race but vowed to help the eventual nominee defeat President Trump in the general election.

“We will work to ensure that the Democratic nominee is successful in defeating Donald Trump in 2020,” he wrote. “I can tell you firsthand from having the chance to know the candidates, we will be well served by any one of them, and I’m going to be proud to support whoever that nominee is.”

Current frontrunner Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., thanked O’Rourke for focusing on gun violence during his campaign.

Trump, who often mocks O’Rourke at his own reelection rallies, made sure to do so one more time following O’Rourke’s announcement.

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