Surrounded by supporters in El Paso, lifelong Texan and current Congressman Beto O’Rourke files as candidate for the United States Senate and make his 2018 run official

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EL PASO, TEXAS – Earlier today, Congressman Beto O’Rourke gathered with his family, friends, supporters, campaign team and state Democratic Party leaders to officially file as a candidate for the United States Senate – making his run to unseat incumbent Senator Ted Cruz in 2018 official. Filing in his hometown, the lifelong Texan who has lived as a continuous resident of the state since his birth, submitted more than 14,000 petition signatures backing his candidacy.

Standing alongside his wife and three children in the El Paso campaign headquarters, O’Rourke summarized the past eight months – which took him to dozens of public town halls across the state – and made a powerful argument for why he believes a people-powered campaign will ultimately overcome the PACs and uniquely make the case for why Texas deserves better.

“I feel so lucky to have this opportunity to run, to listen, to represent and to serve the interests of every single person across Texas at a truly pivotal moment for our communities, state and country,” said Representative O’Rourke. “Today’s filing is not only a chance to recommit ourselves to this critical race, but to recommit to running it in the right way – being present, accountable, candid, transparent and powering each step of the way by people not PACs.”

Representative O’Rourke was joined by local and state Democratic Party leaders who cheered his vision for the state. “There’s a fiery progressive movement across Texas and Congressman Beto O’Rourke is leading the charge. Beto’s message is simple: When elected officials have their priorities straight and are accountable to everyday Texans, we all get the fair shot we deserve,” said Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa. “With undeniable Texas bravado, Beto is inspiring millions of Texans in every corner of the state and we couldn’t be more excited.”

Supporters from across the state came out to support Beto as he made his candidacy official. “Beto is a serious public servant, and his sole motivation in Washington stems from a genuine desire to improve the lives of Texans. i have never seen a politician who cares and listens like he does,” said Army veteran and longtime Texan Shane Mercer. “While Ted Cruz was attending fundraisers, chasing TV cameras and skipping Armed Services Committee meetings, Beto was working to deliver for Fort Bliss, West Texas, service members and veterans. This is exactly why we need him in the U.S. Senate. Texans need him and our veterans deserve him.”

Beto will spend much of December back on the road, driving across the state and visiting regions that haven’t seen a Democratic candidate in decades. Listening to Texans regardless of their party, Beto will swing through more than 30 counties before the holidays.

Since launching his campaign nearly eight moths ago, Beto has traveled across Texas engaging in open dialogues with Texans from every part of the state about concerns and issues across the spectrum – visiting more than 155 counties, already hosting more than 85 public events from town halls and roundtables to runs, coffees and hearings and holding unscripted conversations about the direction we want for our communities, state and county.

Beto’s grassroots, people powered campaign also has incredible momentum across the state – outraising Cruz in FEC quarter two and surpassing the sitting Republican Senator by 7,000 individual contributions in FEC quarter three without taking a single PAC dollar. From a 34-day “Town Haulin’ Across Texas” statewide drive to streaming each event on Facebook, Beto has had candid conversations with families who are looking for new ideas, stronger leadership and an advocate for Texas that answers to the people and not the PACs.