El Paso Congressman Beto O’Rourke was born September 26, 1972 in El Paso, Texas. He attended Columbia University and graduated with a BA in English literature and is also fluent in Spanish. During and after college, Beto had a variety of jobs and interests as he tried to find his place in life. He had a short music career where he played bass and drums in a couple different bands. He worked as a live-in nanny in Manhattan, then as an art mover, and then worked with his uncle at a startup Internet service provider. He then worked as a proofreader and wrote short stories and songs in his free time before eventually becoming home sick and returning to El Paso. He co-founded Stanton Street Technology which is an Internet and software company that develops websites and software.
O’Rourke first became inspired politically by Ray Caballero’s successful 2001 mayoral run and what his platform stood for. When Caballero failed to get re-elected, it made him want to enter public service so he ran for City council in 2005 and won and was re-elected in 2007. In 2009, he sponsored a resolution calling for an examination for the War on Drugs and “the repeal of ineffective marijuana laws. It was unanimously supported by the El Paso City Council but was vetoed by the then-Mayor John Cook, however, it was the start to the national discussion on the issue.
In 2012, O’Rourke ran for Texas’s 16th congressional district and won by just a few hundred votes. As a Congressman, he has continued to hold at least one town hall meeting every month. He was re-elected in 2014 and 2016. O’Rourke believes in term limits and therefore has given himself a limit in the House and said if elected to the Senate, he wouldn’t serve more than 12 years.
O’Rourke ran for Senate in 2018 and was considered a “longshot” candidate. But as he moved across all 254 Texas counties drawing huge crowds and raising more than $70 million, he was becoming a much more serious competition. It wasn’t just his policy positions that drew supporters to him but his demeanor and “promise of compassion.” Though O’Rourke ultimately lost with 48.3% of the vote, in a state as red as Texas, this showed that times were beginning to change. His campaign can be credited with electing several “down-ticket” Democratic candidates such as Democrats now controlling the Third Court and Fifth Court of Appeals in Texas, gaining 12 formerly Republican state House seats, and two state Senate seats.
Beto officially announced his presidential candidacy on March 14, 2019. Beto is married to Amy Sanders and has three children, Ulysses, Henry, and Molly.
I am running to serve you as the next president. The challenges we face are the greatest in living memory. No one person can meet them on their own. Only this country can do that, and only if we build a movement that includes all of us. Say you're in: https://t.co/EKLdkVET2u pic.twitter.com/lainXyvG2n
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) March 14, 2019