Beto 2020 rocks Waco

Former Democrat El Paso congressman Beto O'Rourke launched his campaign for the 2020 presidential election at a rally in El Paso. O'Rourke spoke at Common Grounds during his last election cycle. Claire Boston | Multimedia Journalist

By Morgan Harlan | Staff Writer

Former Democrat El Paso congressman Beto O’Rourke officially launched his campaign for the 2020 presidential election Saturday in El Paso. He announced his bid for 2020 earlier this March

In the first 24 hours of Beto’s public campaign announcement, he broke the record for the most donations in a 24-hour period for the 2020 presidential field, with $6.1 million. Beto is leading a grassroots campaign and relying on individual donors.

Beto’s donation website, Act Blue and Beto for America, says, “Our campaign will be different. We won’t be taking a dime from lobbyists, PACs, or corporations. We will fund this effort without help from any special interests so that we can be sure our democracy is once again powered by people, and only people.”

Houston junior Hanna Seay is a social work major who volunteered on Beto’s Senate 2018 campaign. She knocked on doors or block walked, registered voters, worked Election Day events and distributed campaign merchandise. Sometimes Seay had to run back to the Waco Beto headquarters multiple times in one day to grab more stickers, buttons and yard signs.

“I have been hoping for a presidential campaign since November 6 and so I am very excited. With so many candidates running in the primaries and more to be announced, I’ve had a difficult time picking my front runner. I was set on voting and campaigning for a candidate of color, particularly Kamala Harris or Cory Booker,” Seay said. “However, the most important issue to me during this election cycle is the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and Beto is one of the only candidates I at least somewhat agree with and trust to address this issue while keeping all people’s human rights at the forefront of the conversation.”

Seay is planning on submitting an application for part-time employment for Beto’s presidential campaign in Waco and she is excited to get involved.

“The energy surrounding his Senate campaign was contagious and that shows by the record-setting numbers of new voters that turned out for him. I anticipate that same kind of inspiration and energy in his presidential campaign and I feel honored to have the opportunity to be a part of a campaign like this one,” said Seay.

Eric Soo, the President of Baylor College Republicans is a senior biology major from Portland, Ore.

“Beto O’Rourke benefit from a biased media that by-and large ignored his weaknesses as a candidate, refusing to run negative stories in order to promote the progressive’s Senate run in Texas for the competitive midterms. Activist journalists don’t attach obligatory labels like “far left” to him like it does to his Republican opponents, instead adopting misleading labels like “moderate,” and other complements in order to condition the electorate to his positive appeal. His new and exciting veneer very much boosted Democrat mobilization in Texas, but we’ve learned from the 2016 election that debates put a magnifying glass on one’s life. When this happens to Representative O’Rourke, America will realize that there are far more qualified, accomplished, and substantive candidates on the left,” said Soo in this comment to the Lariat when asked about feelings towards Beto’s presidential campaign.

The vice president of Baylor Democrats, Zach Tufenkjian, a freshman political science major from Hoffman Estates, Ill., gave a statement on behalf of the organization.

“Naturally, some of us are more receptive to Beto’s campaign given his Texas residency and 2018 Senate campaign. However, we firmly believe we have a wonderful field of candidates running at the moment, each with their own unique traits and accomplishments. Despite having so many candidates vying for the nomination, we are unified in our common interest of promoting a platform that will fight for all Americans, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, etc. We look forward to seeing Beto and other candidates on the debate stage in June, and wish them all the best of luck on the campaign trail.” Tufenkjian said.

According to the New York Times, Beto’s campaign platform is strong on immigration, gun control, health care, climate change, criminal justice and trade agriculture.