Beto O’Rourke Fast Facts | CNN Politics


Here’s the life of former US Representative Beto O’Rourke, a former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate.

Birthday date: September 26, 1972

Birth place: El Paso, Texas

Birth name: Robert Francis O’Rourke

Father: Patrick O’Rourke, former county commissioner and El Paso County judge

Mother: Melissa O’Rourke, owner of the furniture store

Marriage: Amy (Hoover Sanders) O’Rourke (September 24, 2005-present)

Kids: Henry, Molly and Ulysses

Education: Columbia University, BA, 1995

Religion: Roman Catholic

The nickname Veto, a shortened version of Roberto, was given to O’Rourke by his parents.

He speaks Spanish well.

He named his son, Ulysses, after the Greek hero of Homer’s Odyssey.

O’Rourke was a member of two punk rock bands. He played guitar for the group known as Foss, and released an EP called “The El Paso Pussycats”. He also played with a band called The Sheeps, who wore sheep masks and long johns to their shows.

May 1995 – O’Rourke is charged with one count of robbery. He later said of the incident that he “jumped a fence at the University of Texas at El Paso, which led to a theft report.” The charge is later dropped.

September 1998 – O’Rourke is arrested for driving while intoxicated and charged with DWI. Completes a diversion program and charges are dismissed. He later refers to the incident as a “terrible mistake”.

1999 At age 26, O’Rourke founded Stanton Street Technology Group, an El Paso web design company.

2005 – He is elected as an El Paso councilman, defeating the incumbent.

2013-2019 – O’Rourke has won a seat in the US House of Representatives and is serving in Texas’ 16th district for three terms.

March 22, 2017 – O’Rourke serves as the lead sponsor of the “Honor Our Pledge Act,” which directs the Department of Veterans Affairs to expand mental health services for veterans. The measure is approved as part of the March 22, 2018, omnibus spending bill.

March 31, 2017 – He announces his candidacy for the US Senate in Texas against incumbent Senator Ted Cruz.

December 12, 2017 – The National Defense Authorization Act passed for fiscal year 2017 and includes a measure authored by O’Rourke mandating that service members undergo a mental health screening before leaving the armed forces.

October 18, 2018 – He takes the same questions in a CNN town hall. Cruz’s campaign initially agreed, but later declined CNN’s invitation to participate.

November 6, 2018 – O’Rourke lost the US Senate election to Cruz by 3%. His campaign attracted national attention as O’Rourke visited every county in Texas and focused on social media. He also refused to take money from political action committees.

Ted Cruz and Beto O'Rourke shake hands after a debate at SMU's McFarlin Auditorium on September 21, 2018 in Dallas, Texas.

January 16, 2019 – Two weeks after leaving the convention, O’Rourke blogs in a travelogue-style post on Medium about being “in and out of a funk” and embarks on a path to “lighten up.” [his] head” to run as calls grow.

February 11, 2019 – O’Rourke joins a counter-protest called the “March for Truth” as President Donald Trump makes a campaign appearance in El Paso.

March 14, 2019 – O’Rourke has announced that he will run for president.

March 18, 2019 – He says he raised $6.1 million in the first 24 hours of his presidential campaign, the largest first-day fundraising of any 2020 Democratic contender so far.

September 12, 2019 – In the third Democratic debate, O’Rourke reiterated his support for a mandatory gun buyback program for assault-style rifles, saying, “Hell yeah, we’ll take your AR-15, your AK-47.” O’Rourke’s comments came after a spate of shootings in the United States, including in his hometown of El Paso, where 22 people were shot dead at a Walmart in August. O’Rourke introduced a proposal after the shooting that calls for a national gun registry, a nationwide gun licensing system and the mandatory purchase of assault-style rifles as part of his plan to curb gun violence and the rise of white nationalism.

November 1, 2019 – O’Rourke has ended his presidential campaign.

March 2, 2020 – O’Rourke supports former Vice President Joe Biden.

November 15, 2021 – O’Rourke has announced that he will run for governor of Texas.

May 25, 2022 – O’Rourke confronted Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott and other officials at a news conference on the Uvalde, Texas, elementary school shooting that left 21 people dead, including 19 children. “The next shooting is time to stop and you do nothing,” O’Rourke told Abbott.