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Meet Beto O’Rourke, Texas’ Democratic gubernatorial candidate

Beto O’Rourke is running against incumbent Republican Gov. Greg Abbott. Here’s more about Texas’ famous Democrat

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Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke speaks at a Democracy is Indigenous DFW event in Dallas, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022.

Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke speaks at a Democracy is Indigenous DFW event in Dallas, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022.

LM Otero, Associated Press

On Nov. 8, Texas will decide between Beto O’Rourke and Gov. Greg Abbott in its gubernatorial election.

Last week, Abbott led O’Rourke in the polls by 11 points, but The Hill reported on Monday that Abbott is leading by six points. O’Rourke is running as a Democrat in this election. Here’s more about Texas’ Democratic challenger.

O’Rourke was born in Texas in 1972. According to his biography on the website of the History, Art and Archives of the U.S. House of Representatives, he grew up in El Paso, Texas. After attending college at Columbia University, he returned to Texas, where he became a business owner before embarking on his political career.

O’Rourke served in the U.S. House of Representatives for Texas’ 16th District for three terms, from 2013 to 2019.

According to The Texas Tribune, O’Rourke named several of Abbott’s policies as what motivated him to run for governor. “He doesn’t trust women to make their health care decisions, doesn’t trust police chiefs when they tell him not to sign the permitless carry bill into law, he doesn’t trust voters so he changes the rules of our elections, and he doesn’t trust local communities,” O’Rourke said in the video announcing his campaign last year.

Politico reported that O’Rourke’s campaign strategy over the years has been consistent. In addition to the offices he has held, O’Rourke has also run for Senate and president of the United States. He focuses on constant touring and “viral indignation” to persuade voters to join him, David Siders wrote for Politico. When Texans were asked what issue was most important to them, they said border security — which Abbott also leads on.

O’Rourke has stated that he wants to implement a worker program and reform immigration to make it safe and possible for families to cross the border, as reported by the Deseret News. O’Rourke also has spoken out about gun rights and supported gun safety measures as well as wanting to increase the minimum wage and supporting LGBTQ equality.

Additionally, O’Rourke wrote an essay in “First & Wildest: The Gila Wilderness at 100.” His essay “The Springs” chronicled emotions and experiences around his relationship with his father. He concluded the essay, “Sure enough, on the eighteenth crossing we came upon the legendary pool from my dad’s picture—the water held in by a small dam of rocks and earth, steam rising to meet the overhanging branches of the trees that surround it. Below the surface, it was as clear and clean as you could want. A holy place.”

The midterm Election Day is on Tuesday.