U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke is hoping a whole lot of barbecue will help give his campaign for the U.S. Senate a major boost.
On Saturday the El Paso Democrat is hosting what his campaign said will be more than 100 barbecues statewide. The events come nearly a year from election day in 2018 in which he is hoping to unseat U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican from Houston.
"From El Paso, Del Rio, Longview to Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Waco, Lufkin, Taylor and other communities across the state, more than 100 BBQs have been registered with nearly 1,000 Texans RSVP'd. Beto will be using YouTube LIVE to speak directly to voters at their BBQs," O'Rourke's campaign said in a press release promoting the events.
O'Rourke, first elected to Congress in 2012, is running an unconventional campaign trying to defeat Cruz while raising no money from political action committees. He has raised $4 million since getting into the race and has $2.9 million in his campaign account. Cruz has raised $4.7 million and has $5.7 million in his account, which includes funds transferred from his 2016 presidential bid.
On the campaign trail, O'Rourke takes aim at Cruz for spending time running for president instead of being focused on Texas. During a campaign speech in Austin two weeks ago, O'Rourke told the crowd that while Cruz was in Iowa and New Hampshire trying to advance his political career, he was not looking out for the Lone Star State.
"He should be serving your interest," O'Rourke said.
At least seven of the BBQs are planned for Houston, according to O'Rourke's campaign website. For locations visit O'Rourke's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/betoorourke
To be sure, O'Rourke faces a tough challenge. A Democrat has not won a statewide seat in Texas since the 1990s and national political watchers like the Cook Political Report and Nathan Gonzales of Inside Elections list the seat as solidly in Republican hands.
Jeremy Wallace writes about state politics and government for the Chronicle. Follow him on Twitter at @JeremySWallace...Read more