U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-El Paso, was interviewed by Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith on Nov. 4, 2016, in Austin. | Marjorie Kamys Cotera / The Texas Tribune

Democrat Beto O’Rourke Looking at a U.S. Senate Campaign

U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, an El Paso Democrat, told The Texas Tribune he is considering running for the United States Senate.

 O’Rourke, an El Paso Democrat, told The Texas Tribune he is considering running for the U.S. Senate.  “I am,” the sophomore congressman said when Tribune CEO Evan Smith asked if O’Rourke is thinking about running for Senate in 2018 or 2020.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz is up for re-election in 2018, while John Cornyn, the U.S. Senate majority whip, will be up for re-election and a fourth term in 2020.

“Am I looking at one of those two races? Yes,” O’Rourke said Friday, but he declined to specify whether he would challenge Cornyn or Cruz.

U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, who came to Congress in the same class as O’Rourke, is also mentioned frequently as a potential Democratic Senate contender. Only three months ago, Texans at the Democratic National Convention struggled to name a challenger to Cruz.

O’Rourke is a fierce advocate for term limits. So much so, that he has repeatedly promised to leave office after four terms. That would put the end of his U.S. House career in 2021.

It is still an open question whether Democrats can mount a statewide campaign in Texas, where they haven’t won a statewide race since 1994. But O’Rourke is no stranger to uphill challenges: He ousted long-term U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes, a fellow Democrat, in 2012.

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Author: ABBY LIVINGSTON – The Texas Tribune