Ex-punk rocker O'Rourke to make his 2018 Senate bid official

Earlier this month, Mr. O'Rourkegenerated favorable press riding shotgun with Rep.

O'Rourke said some Texans disapproved Cruz's recent bid for the presidency which distracted him from leading as a congressman.

"Since 1988, when Lloyd Bentsen won re-election to the Senate, Democrats have spent close to a billion dollars on consultants and pollsters and experts and campaign wizards and have performed terribly", he said.

Instead, O'Rourke plans to travel around Texas talking to voters everywhere. Texas, a red state, is not expected to be the focus for the minority party. In January, he told the Texas Tribune it was "very likely" that he would run for the Senate in 2018. Republicans now control the Senate 52-48.

But before O'Rourke can face off against Cruz, there is the issue of sorting out his primary.

The Houston Chronicle reported Wednesday that Democratic Party sources in the Lone Star State confirm that an event Mr. O'Rourke has scheduled in his district on Friday is in fact an official campaign announcement. Cruz welcomed him but added "I will continue to work every day to earn and keep the trust of Texans across our great state". Ted Cruz of Texas as a vulnerable target in the 2018 midterm elections, as they look ahead to a daunting task of attempting to gain party wins while defending 25 seats, Politico reports.

Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, a prominent supporter of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in 2016, also could run for the seat.

Castro told CNN that O'Rourke called him Tuesday night to let him know he made a decision to run for Senate. His biggest assist, however, may come from Cruz himself.

Republicans seemed eager Friday for some Democratic infighting ahead of a general election. "A senator who is not using this position of responsibility and power to serve his own interests to run for president".

O'Rourke spoke about "comprehensive immigration reform" than repeated the words in fluent Spanish.

Democrat Beto O'Rourke needed a hefty upset six years ago just to get to Congress.

But the El Paso Democrat is earnestly bullish that he will go to the Senate through a strategy of bringing retail politics to a state of 27 million people.

To complicate matters, it is hard to overstate how unknown this third-term Democrat is in both Texas and Washington.

Another Democratic U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro is also mulling a Senate run and expects to decide soon.

But he sounded like a candidate as he spoke with several reporters at the Capitol, and several Democratic colleagues shouted encouragement as they passed by or even addressed O'Rourke as "senator". O'Rourke's own website unveiled a "Beto for Senate" logo hours before his speech. He remains powerful in Texas, which hasn't elected a Democrat to statewide office since 1994.

The 44-year-old O'Rourke once played guitar for a punk band called Foss.

Beto O'Rourke, a relative newcomer on the Texas political scene, launched his longshot campaign Friday in hopes of becoming the first Texas Democrat elected to the Senate in three decades.

  • Arturo Norris