Beto O’Rourke rode a huge wave to a near win in a 2018 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Texas.
Then the former El Paso congressman decided he would ride that wave in search of a bigger prize: the White House.
Today, though, he called it quits. He is no longer running for president of the United States. Indeed, O’Rourke never quite caught the same wave that excited so many Democrats in Texas and for a time got ’em pumped up in many other parts of the country.
I’ll admit to being disappointed. I had hoped to cast my ballot for O’Rourke once the Democratic Party primary parade marched its way toward Texas. However, O’Rourke never quite ignited the same level of interest in his presidential campaign that he did while he challenged Sen. Ted Cruz a year ago.
Oh, I wanted him to win the Senate seat in the worst way. He campaigned in all of Texas’s 254 counties. He took his message to progressive bastions such as Travis, Dallas and Bexar counties as well as conservative strongholds in the Panhandle, the Permian Basin and Deep East Texas.
O’Rourke finished Election Night 2018 less than 3 percent short of victory. In Texas, that constituted some sort of “moral victory” for Democrats who have lusted for a statewide election victory for more than two decades.
Alas, it wasn’t meant to be as O’Rourke sought his party’s presidential nomination.
There might be another elected office in O’Rourke’s future. Just not this next year.
Nice try, Beto. Many of us still want to see you stay in the game, even if you’re no longer a candidate for public office.