Democrat Beto O'Rourke announces 2020 White House bid

WILL WEISSERT
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FILE - In this Nov. 6, 2018, file photo, Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, the 2018 Democratic Candidate for U.S. Senate in Texas, makes his concession speech at his election night party in El Paso, Texas. O'Rourke formally announced Thursday that he'll seek the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, ending months of intense speculation over whether he'd try to translate his newfound political celebrity into a White House bid. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Former congressman Beto O'Rourke is running for president.

The 46-year-old officially announced his 2020 Democratic primary bid Thursday with an online post. After months of teasing a bid, he's finally, formally hoping to turn buzz from a close loss in Texas' 2018 Senate race into a White House try.

O'Rourke nearly upset Sen. Ted Cruz. Since then, his blend of Kennedy-esque looks, easygoing charisma and bipartisan optimism has helped his national political star burn brighter.

Democrats have long dreamed that a booming Hispanic population could eventually flip Texas blue and transform the electoral college, making the Republican path to the presidency all but impossible.

O'Rourke's home-state appeal may not prove to be enough to make Texas competitive, however, as the Democrats try to deny President Donald Trump a second term.