Early opinion polls on the 2020 race have consistently ranked O'Rourke in the top tier of contenders, behind former Vice President Joe Biden, who has not yet said whether he is running, and US Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont - a 2016 presidential contender who announced his 2020 candidacy last month.
Beto O'Rourke made it official Thursday, saying he was joining a crowded field of Democratic presidential hopefuls.
"Middle schools are one of the fastest-growing markets for marijuana sales today", O'Rourke said Thursday at a campaign event in Iowa.
US Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, left, and US Sen. Many Democrats believe O'Rourke could have far wider appeal on a national stage than in his home state.
Hours after O'Rourke announced he would run for president, the former Democratic congressman's website became a focal point for many of his critics.
With his presidential effort, O'Rourke is hoping to leverage the fame he gained with his Senate race. And: "You can probably tell that I want to run", he said.More news: Apple says Spotify wants to 'make more money off others' work'
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"The reason why I think I'm the best candidate for the presidency is very different than his", New York Sen.
Klobuchar was not the only 2020 candidate to welcome O'Rourke on Thursday. "It's a big part of why I'm running".
"I'm really proud of what El Paso did and what El Paso represents", O'Rourke said in a text to TV station KTSM.
In 2012, he won against incumbent Democratic congressman Silvestre Reyes in a Latino-majority district, and was re-elected twice before giving up his seat to run against Cruz.
O'Rourke, a former punk musician who sometimes went skateboarding to blow off steam on the Texas campaign trail, may quickly achieve rockstar status if he runs.