By JOHN KANELIS / email@example.com
Texas Democrats’ hearts are fluttering again, thanks to reports of Beto O’Rourke’s latest barnstorming tour of the state.
You see, O’Rourke — a former congressman from El Paso who came within whisker stubble of beating Ted Cruz in 2018 — might be running for Texas governor in 2022.
Except that he says he isn’t “thinking about it.” Sure, Beto … whatever you say.
Actually, my gut and my trick knee tell me he is thinking about it.
Is the state’s current governor, Republican Greg Abbott, vulnerable to a challenge from a credible Democrat? I think so. I hope so. I am not sure I expect a serious challenge to emerge from the tall grass, even if it happens to be Beto O’Rourke.
O’Rourke ran for president in 2020, but didn’t make the grade — quite obviously. His 2018 near miss against Sen. Cruz, though, still has whetted the appetites of Texas Democrats who believe that O’Rourke can mount a serious challenge against Abbott.
Abbott’s recent decision to rescind his mask-wearing order has angered me. I am quite certain it has angered other Texans, too.
Does that act alone make him vulnerable? Not really. Unless, we see a serious spike in COVID cases arising from Abbott’s foolhardy (in my view) decision to lift the order.
Beto O’Rourke might not have played well on the national stage, but here in Texas it might be another matter altogether.
Or … he might flame out once he starts “thinking about” running for governor.