Beto O’Rourke heading to Iowa, fueling speculation about White House bid

Oprah Winfrey talk during Oprahs Super Soul Conversations at Play Station Theater Feb. 5 2019 in New York City

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The former El Paso congressman (and owner of an apparently unlimited supply of blue dress shirts) will visit the early voting state this weekend to stump for Eric Giddens, the Democrat vying for an Iowa Senate.

"A "big announcement" from Beto O'Rourke is on the horizon" was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans - and engages with them - about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

O'Rourke and his team shot a video released Monday to promote an Iowa Democrat running in a state Senate special election and O'Rourke will go to the state this weekend to participate in a get-out-the-vote event.

Mirroring his unsuccessful campaign model, O'Rourke embarked on a solo road trip in January to meet voters, where he had been chronicling the trip on social media and raising some eyebrows with freakish antics such as a Instagram live stream from his dental hygienist's chair.

Sterzenbach's departure sparked speculation that he might join O'Rourke's campaign.

O'Rourke has spoken to several Democratic advisers in recent weeks, some by telephone and others during visits to El Paso. Also, remember that people close to O'Rourke recently signaled that he's not interested in duking it out with John Cornyn in another senate run. O'Rourke released a video Monday night from Texas, announcing his support for Giddens and wearing a University of Northern Iowa cap.

Paul Ratje  AFP  Getty Images FILE
Paul Ratje AFP Getty Images FILE

Beto O'Rourke is heading to Iowa to campaign this weekend.

Paul Tewes, who was Barack Obama's 2008 Iowa state director, has also been advising O'Rourke, a source familiar with his role said.

The developments underscore how quickly O'Rourke - a little-known congressman before he raised $80 million in his Senate run against Cruz - is assembling a national team, something other candidates spent much of a year ago preparing to do.

Late last month, O'Rourke said he had reached his decision about whether he would be jumping into the crowded 2020 Democratic presidential primary. "We are excited to share it with everyone soon". "It's the exact kind of campaign that America needs right now, and it's why so many of us are hoping that Beto has chose to launch a campaign for President of the United States". The new Beto O'Rourke documentary, "Running With Beto", ends with him musing about how to keep the momentum of his 2018 defeat in the Texas Senate race going.

"There are so many candidacies, so many leaders, who we got to be a part of this fantastic thing in Texas over the last two years, and it continues, and we are so excited", he said.

It continued: "And now I'm ready for us to bring our movement to the rest of the country".

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