Speculation about his plans had already increased on Wednesday when Vanity Fair unveiled its April cover featuring O'Rourke with photos taken by famous photographer Annie Leibovitz in his home town of El Paso. He has also spent the last few weeks an Iowa, a clear indication he was feeling out a potential run for president.
The former El Paso, Texas Congressman will make the announcement on Thursday morning, but he confirmed via text to CBS 17 sister station KTSM Wednesday afternoon that he is seeking the Democratic nomination.
O'Rourke was little-known outside his hometown of El Paso until he challenged Republican Sen. "Man, I'm just born to be in it, and want to do everything I humanly can for this country at this moment".
O'Rourke conceded explicitly to Vanity Fair that he wants to run. "It's a big part of why I'm running", O'Rourke told KTSM in a text message.More news: Gmail and Google Drive services temporarily disrupted in Japan and globally
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Despite O'Rourke's narrow loss, his high-profile candidacy helped Democrats retake House seats and control of the chamber.
"I want to be in it", O'Rourke said.
When it became clear that O'Rourke was considering a run in 2020, Trump again mocked the Democratic phenom.