Beto for Governor?

He says he’s thinking about it.

Beto O’Rourke

Democrat Beto O’Rourke has left no doubt that he’s weighing a run for governor next year.

“You know what, it’s something I’m going to think about,” O’Rourke said in an exclusive interview on an El Paso radio station earlier this week.

And in case anyone missed the interview, a political action committee O’Rourke started called Powered By People is circulating it on social media.

The former congressman from El Paso who lost a close race for U.S. Senate in 2018 told KLAQ host Buzz Adams that Texas has “suffered perhaps more than any other” state during the pandemic and criticized Gov. Greg Abbott for a “complete indifference” to helping local leaders try to save lives.

“I want to make sure we have someone in the highest office in our state who’s going to make sure that all of us are OK,” the 48-year-old O’Rourke said. “And especially those communities that so often don’t get the resources or attention or the help, like El Paso.”

You can listen to the interview here. As you know, I am on Team Julian, but at this point I am willing to listen to anyone who is willing to say out loud the actual words that they are thinking about running. (As opposed to just saying they’re not ruling it out, which more or less applies to all of us.) That doesn’t commit anyone to anything of course, but it at least lets us know that the thought has crossed their mind. More likely than not, even expressing that mild sentiment is a sign that there’s some activity behind it, even if it’s just chatting with some folks.

Abbott, 63, might have more to worry about than just the general election as he runs for his third term.

Abbott has been under siege from some in the Republican Party of Texas for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, including party chairman Allen West, a former Florida congressman who now lives in Garland. West has opposed Abbott’s mask requirement, called for a special session to curb Abbott’s executive powers during the pandemic and was part of a lawsuit seeking to overturn Abbott’s expansion of early voting last November. Some county GOP executive committees have even gone so far as to publicly censure Abbott for his handling of the pandemic.

There are other potential primary challengers, including Texas State Sen. Don Huffines of Dallas. During a rally near the steps of the Capitol in early January, Huffines tore into Abbott, calling him “King Greg” and saying he hasn’t done anything on big GOP priorities like election security.

It’s always hard to know how seriously to take the inchoate bloviations of an irrational dishonest person like Don Huffines, or Allen West. There is some discontent with Abbott among the frothing-maniac wing of the GOP, but that doesn’t mean they’d be able to do him any damage in a primary, or that they would continue to hold a grudge in the general against someone they consider far worse, which is to say any Democrat. It could happen, but I’m going to need to see it happen in order to believe it.

On the Democratic side, 2018 lieutenant governor candidate Mike Collier has been sounding like he’s ready for a rematch. Earlier this week he said in a tweet that Texans want Patrick out of the office and “my phone is ringing off the hook.”

Also up for re-election in 2022 will be Attorney General Ken Paxton, Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, State Comptroller Glenn Hegar and Land Commissioner George P. Bush. All are Republicans.

Mike Collier is terrific, and he came pretty close to winning in 2018 as well. As we know, former Galveston Mayor Joe Jaworski is in for Attorney General, likely with some company in that primary. That’s one reason why I’m not going to jump on the Beto train at this point – it’s fair to say that having three white guys at the top of the ticket is not an accurate representation of the Democratic base, nor is it a great look in general. Obviously, it’s very early, and who knows who will actually run, and who might win in a contested primary. Let’s get some more good people raising their hands and saying they’re looking at it, that’s all I’m saying. The Trib has more.

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21 Responses to Beto for Governor?

  1. Marc says:

    Julian should have run in 2018, which may have been enough to carry himself, Beto, Mike, and/or Justin over the top, so I’m not in a very forgiving mood about that at the moment. But I’m a white male Democrat myself, so who knows?

  2. He had a chance before he ran for President. I actually voted for him for Senator. However, I wouldn’t vote for him again because he is way to Progressive for me. I don’t think he can win in Texas. Just run this add “Hell yes, were going to take your” assault weapons.

  3. Manny says:

    I think the Castro brothers are given too much “Latinx” by white Democrats. I don’t think that either one of them brings too much to the Democratic Party statewide. They have never stood for anything to appeal to the Latinos that are not active in politics. They are typical Latino Democrats, you all tell me what the Latino elected officials stand for here in Harris County? The only one with a spine is Lina, but she is new to politics. I will wait to see if she becomes like the rest the longer she is in office. One stays in office by following the HPD officers on how not to get fired, do as little as possible so that no one complains.

    Soy Chicano

  4. Bill Daniels says:

    I agree with the second part of Paul’s post. I mean, this IS still Texas, and enthusiastically telling Texans that they will be disarmed just isn’t going to fly here. Look at the anger here about the moratorium on offshore drilling and drilling on federal lands, and the stoppage of the already in progress KeystoneXL. You’re putting real people out of work, putting real companies into bankruptcy, and wow, there aren’t any ‘green’ jobs for those workers to get right now. I guess those former well paid union refinery operators who would be refining the Canadian tar sands oil into gasoline, and precursors for plastic, asphalt, and other things society needs, can always learn to code. Of course, after a couple of years of unemployment while learning to code, they’ll face job competition from a flood of H1-B coders, in a crappy job market.

    Beto will lose simply because of the gun issue, but the vicious assault on oil and gas is not going to go unnoticed by Texans. Even if you don’t directly work in oil and gas, you know people who do, and the economy is still dependent on the industry here.

    Just look at the proposed Sunnyside solar farm. Those jobs are earmarked for the residents of Sunnyside, not the people losing their jobs right now in oil and gas. There are no jobs available for the people losing their own O&G jobs, right now, today. How is that a winning strategy to take the governor’s mansion in Texas?

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  6. Mainstream says:

    I agree with Paul that Beto’s star has fallen after the Presidential campaign fizzled. He can continue to be a fundraiser or organizer, or professor or TV pundit, but I don’t see him as a successful candidate going forward.

  7. Lobo says:



    How many people do you estimate think that Beto O’Rourke is Hispanic, and how many among La Raza? Even if they are wrong, does it matter? In other words, can Beto run as a perceived Latino or Latino-ish candidate, especially when stressing his El Paso credentials?

    I know, I know, he talks Spanish haltingly and very much Gringo-style, but he can work on his accent, starting by watching Lina speaking in native Spanish, and then perhaps improve the fluency and intonation with some speech classes.


    Beto is a surname, and a nickname for the given names Alberto, Albertino, Adalberto, Berthony, Heriberto, Norberto, Roberto or Humberto. It occurs mostly in Portuguese- and Spanish-speaking countries and communities.


    I may be wrong, but I suspect that gringos at large still have no use for “Latinx” (and might even thinks it is a spelling error), and that American Hispanics do not self-identify as Latinx unless they are academics or self-professed progressive activists.

    Would you agree? Is there any survey evidence that you have seen that suggests otherwise?

    It seems to me that Beto can run as an Anglo/Hispanic hybrid, and that this could be an asset. (If German Texans now qualify as Anglos, why not the Irish?).

    For “La Raza”, see Russell Contreras. “AP Explains: Why term ‘la raza’ has complicated roots in US. July 12, 2017

  8. Manny says:

    Lobo, why not do that research? By the way, I used quotation marks for a reason.

    If you are going to use the word gringos, my actual preferred name for “Gringos” is Gabachos reason being –

    Lina is Colombian, she speaks Castilian Spanish and not Mexican Spanish.

    As to Russell Contreras, he is book-learned, I don’t know his history. The article is almost all opinion with no supporting facts. But you tend to bring up things that I did not mention, I wrote Chicano.

  9. David Fagan says:


    I have to recognize and thank you for posting something that doesn’t contain the words racist, or fascist. It sounds so much more intelligent and makes for better consideration of the points you are trying to make.

  10. Bill Daniels says:

    “…. it’s fair to say that having three white guys at the top of the ticket is not an accurate representation of the Democratic base, nor is it a great look in general.”

    Kuff, if it will be 3 non whites at the top of the ticket, would you have written the same thing? Which white candidates are you going to vote against, simply because of their ethnicity to get the appropriate amount of non white candidates on the ticket?

  11. Bill Daniels says:


    Kuff, did you vote for Royce West in the primary? Do you have a problem with the Democrat primary voters who voted for the white person instead of Royce?

  12. Lobo says:


    Re: Lina is Colombian, she speaks Castilian Spanish and not Mexican Spanish.

    Manny: When speaking to a wide and diverse audience, you want to be comprehended and therefore use the Queen’s English/BBC English, not Cockney.

    Same analogously for Spanish, or German, for that matter.

    Plus, even if you are a bona fide, you can’t run statewide as a Chicano and campaign in a Zoot suit. There won’t be enough resonance for lack of numbers. Cowboy hat and boots might work on the campaign trail in Texas, but other accoutrement like sombero better be left behind.

    Re: My own research. There is a reason I called on you. Manny, and your take on it: You are well-positioned to weigh in on these matters as a self-described Chicano (Chicanx?), even if you are not objective.

    So, for example, your preference for Gazpacho over Gringo adds something to the discussion. I would retort that “Gringos” has better currency and resonance because it’s also the name of a popular Tex-Mex restaurant (with apostrophe).

    That said, the gringo moniker is also mildly pejorative, like referring to a German as a kraut, and I was curious to see if I was going to be called out for it.

    Bill, Hochman – You-all okay with being called a Gringo?


    Also, what do you all think of Allen West and whether being black is good for the GOP? Are there any lessons for the Texas Dems regarding the role of epidermal darkness? Should Beto do some solarium sessions if he decides to take on Abbott in addition to improving his Castillian Spanish, which doesn’t currently sound very Castillian, but is very easy to understand for all Spanish-speakers, even beginners?

    A confession: When Bill asked Kuff about Royce West, I initially connoted the black chair of the GOP. And I am a character intensely interested in politics! Just image the potential for confusion in the general populace that doesn’t pay much attention to politics.

    They might think Beto is Hispanic, for example, or of mixed heritage.

  13. Manny says:

    Lobo, FYI, we don’t speak the queen’s English. We speak American English. Ain’t that a shite.

  14. Lobo says:

    Re: “Two countries divided by a common language”
    (George Bernard Shaw, author of Pygmalion, which inspired My Fair Lady).

    Manny: Agreed, we are a Republic and the customer is King. And we live in a land with lots of Republicans, one of whom now rules like a King. The Queen, by contrast, only reins. She don’t rule.

    That said, I watch BCC pretty regularly, and I don’t perceive much of a linguistic difference, except for the accent, which is RP (Received Pronunciation) aka the Queen’s English. See more here if interested:


    I’d say the difference between the Queen’s and the American versions is less than the difference between Standard German (High German) and the various Bavarian and Alemannic versions. The Austrians and Swiss understand the Germans b/c the are brought up “bilingual” (everyday language/dialect and “school” German, which equates to radio/TV German for the last 2-3 generations), but not necessarily vice versa. There is no question that Brits and Americans understand each other, although there is some potential for word fun, and there is a little variation in spelling rules (labor/labour, for example) and grammar.

    Thanks to two WWs and the associated ethnic animosities and cultural suppression, German vs. English in Texas is no longer an issue, but Spanish vs. English still is.

    I find it curious when gringos insist: “This is America. Speak English or go back where you come from.” Hello … Texas ain’t England and the colonial master was once Spain. And the rest of the world does actually speak English, much of the ESL instruction worldwide historically being patterned on the Queen’s variety.

    Not to mention that Mexicans are also Americans – North Americans, no less — as are the Canadians, who are nominally still under the Queen, represented by a Governor General. Do non-francophone Canadians speak American English? And if they do, how could it be said that American English is uniquely for US?

    Spanish-speakers in Texas, however, are numerous and have their own media ecosystem. Many also speak English, but the bilingualism doesn’t go vice versa. Therefore, the Hispanic community can be targeted and marketed to through Spanish-language mass and social media. That has implications for political campaigning.

  15. Manny says:

    If and when “Beto” decides to run for whatever, I will send him some money and work to get him elected.

    I am tired of the Crazy Party, the no policy party, constantly lie about everything. While advocating for the death of people, it was just a few days that a member of the Crazy Party, state that since most of the deaths were of people over 80 it was okay. A person who constantly posts here has advocated the shooting of anyone that crosses the border. A Crazy Congresswoman has no problem with Congresswoman Pelosi, being shot in the head. A Crazy Texas Senatore wants to disfranchise voters from other states. The Crazy Party is passing laws like;

    arguing that transgender girls have an unfair physiological advantage in girls’ sports, an edge that can affect access to scholarships

    A frequent poster in this blog has made the same arguments numerous times and not a single so-called progressive has taken said commenter to the task.

    The Crazies still have laws that do not allow Blacks to be buried in all White cemeteries.

  16. Manny says:

    The Crazy party primarily consists of fascists, racists, bigots, and religious zealots, there are exceptions but they are normally extra greedy people the like of Donald, the orange buffoon, Trump.

    But they do get upset with people referring to names like the ones above, poor whiny babies.

  17. David Fagan says:

    Well, that didn’t take long, Manny

  18. Lobo says:


    Fagan: I am throwing him what I think can fairly be characterized as FOOD FOR THOUGHT, but he prefers red meat. He doesn’t even correct when I mis-spell gobernador.

    Speaking of errors, some readers might benefit from a semantic differentiation of “gabacho” and “gazpacho” from someone eminently capable of providing it (like Manny), and thereby advance the further elucidation of the already very bright OTK readership. Especially if it is true (and I am not sure, but willing to listen), that using the term “gabacho” in lieu of “gringo” has merit.

    Even more urgent is a need to talk about how Latinas and Latinos in Texas think of themselves (rather than the gringo/Caucasian majority), and what issues and “messages” resonate with them.

    Manny? – Why did Mexican-Americans & Tejanos vote for Trump? What about Chicanos/as and Latinx? — And what will persuade Hispanics to turn out in midterm elections?

    And an even more basic question: Can we even discuss Dem strategy meaningfully when we don’t even have a common concept and label for the segment of the population and electorate in question?

    To return to the topic of Kuff’s post … Do you think that “Beto” could run as a reverse cross-over candidate for Governor and market himself differentially to Hispanics and “Caucasians” (while taking the Black vote for granted as a Democrat)?

    I realize we have had castellano-surnamed candidates for Guv. before (Tony Sanchez, Lupe Valdez), but the proposition here was that Beto O’Rourke could be both Latino (albeit not fully authentic) AND Anglo-Saxon/Celtic, thus straddling the ethno-cultural cleavage. So that would be a different offering in the electoral market from previously-tried-and-abortive. And he could also commit himself to represent *all* Texans, putting people first. Look how Abbott is doing the bidding for corporate Texans, most recently with his push for COVID lawsuit immunity on top all the judicially imposed immunities and previous tort deform efforts.

    I have to agree with Bill, though, that the guns might be a problem on the hot-button issues front, unless perhaps Abbott’s position can be equated with being in favor of creating conditions for mass shootings like the one in El Paso. Beto is predictably going to be denounced as someone wanting to take your gun away, not just assault-style/rapid-fire/maximum-kill weapons, and that message might do him in if it is not effectively countered and neutralized.

    Perhaps Beto should be campaigning with a couple of licensed guns in two holsters, to project toughness. Or do some Arnold number with a Conan-the-Governator sword at least.

    Visuals and video may be as important in campaigning as messaging. If not more so.

  19. Manny says:

    Lobo, I am not the grammar or spelling police, you are not very bright for a self described intellectual.

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