Beto O’Rourke lost his bid for Texas governor but built an impressive fundraising machine for the Democrats.Photo ofErik Drost/Creative Commons via Wikimedia Commons
Beto O’Rourke has shifted gears after losing the 2022 Texas gubernatorial race and is urging his supporters to help Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock retain his Senate seat.
In a mass email sent to his supporters on Tuesday, O’Rourke urged them to donate to Warnock’s campaign ahead of the Dec. 6 Georgia runoff, in which he will face Republican hopeful Herschel Walker.
“Please join me… donate today to bring Raphael Warnock back to the United States Senate,” O’Rourke wrote. “Let’s make sure he has the resources he needs to reach the voters who need to surrender if he wants to win.”
Warnock led Walker by 0.9 percent in the Nov. 8 election, but with neither candidate receiving more than 50 percent of the vote, as required by Georgia law, they face each other again in the runoff. Warnock’s lead has since risen to 4 percent, according to a runoff poll, but Democrats are worried as they seek to extend their Senate lead, now at 50-49.
O’Rourke suffered a crucial 11 percentage point loss to incumbent Governor Greg on Nov. 8, his third electoral loss after losing his bids for the Senate and the presidency. But in doing so, he helped organize and strengthen the Democrats’ presence and infrastructure in Texas, and built an impressive fundraising machine that surpassed Governor Abbott’s traditionally huge coffers.
Using these fundraising tools to bolster Warnock’s campaign signals that O’Rourke is not ready to leave the political scene and that he may be turning his attention to supporting Democrats across the country.
“As fundamental rights and freedoms are under attack here in Texas and across the country, especially now that Trump’s Republicans will soon command a majority in the House of Representatives, it’s important that we continue to do what we can to address this challenge,” O’Rourke said wrote.
The email contained an action button linked to his Driven by people Group donation page. O’Rourke explained that all contributions will be split between the Warnock campaign and the work to increase voter registration in Texas “to ensure there are more young voters on the lists ahead of the 2024 election.”
After his defeat, Republican pundits speculated that O’Rourke’s political career was over, saying he was out of touch with Texas voters and was too far left of them. Abbott’s campaign attributed her win to a “better message,” according to The Texas Tribune.