Beto O’Rourke represented Texas’s 16th Congressional District for three terms and gained attention for his ultimately unsuccessful Senate campaign against Sen. Ted Cruz. Previously, O’Rourke served on the El Paso City Council and co-founded the Stanton Street Technology Group.
Previous Work Around Poverty and Opportunity
- Voted against keeping work requirements for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
- Has repeatedly highlighted the maternal mortality rates of black women.
- Has been outspoken on social issues including immigration.
On the Issues
Health Care/Insurance: Said on Facebook in 2018 that “single-payer Medicare-for-all program is the best way to ensure all Americans get the health care they need.” Later modified his position, saying Medicare is “one option” toward universal coverage.
Criminal Justice: Campaigned for Senate on a criminal justice reform agenda: advocating for the abolishment of private prisons, supporting the legalization of marijuana and ending the War on Drugs, eliminating mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenses, ending the use of bail bonds and increasing housing and job-search support for former inmates.
“Ignore the skeptics. Beto O’Rourke has the policy chops to run for president. [Opinion].” (The Houston Chronicle: 12/15/2018)
“Beto O’Rourke Has a Good reason He’s Running. He Just Can’t Say It.” (New York Magazine: 3/14/2019)
“Beto O’Rourke Once Supported an El Paso Real Estate Deal. Barrio Residents Remember.” (The New York Times: 10/29/2018)
“O’Rourke’s immigration plan: No wall, but a few specifics.” (Texas Tribune: 1/16/2019)