Beto O'Rourke

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Beto O'Rourke
Beto O'Rourke.jpg
Candidate for
U.S. House, Texas, District 16
Prior offices
El Paso City Council
High schoolEl Paso high school
Bachelor'sColumbia University, 1995
ProfessionSmall Business Owner
Campaign website
Beto O'Rourke is a 2012 Democratic candidate seeking election to the U.S. House representing the 16th Congressional District of Texas.[1] He faces incumbent Silvestre Reyes, Ben Mendoza and Jerome Tilghman in the Democratic primary on May 29, 2012.


O'Rourke graduated from Columbia University in 1995. He then returned to El Paso and co-founded Stanton Street Technology, an internet services and software company, in 1999. O'Rourke has also served on the El Paso City Council from 2005 to 2011.


Campaign issues


O'Rourke's campaign website lists the following issues:[2]

  • End Corruption
Excerpt: "The corruption that plagues our community has to stop, but we need reform and new leadership, especially in D.C. where members of Congress use our tax dollars to get re-elected. I will sponsor a bill to set term limits for representatives, so that they focus on getting the job done instead of the special interests that keep them in office."
  • True Democrat
Excerpt: "Instead of focusing on issues that are important to El Pasoans like the economy, jobs and ensuring that our community is well-represented in D.C., the incumbent has chosen to ask if I am a Democrat. Although I put community and country before party and partisan politics, I think my track record shows that I represent the best aspects of the Democratic Party."
  • Congressional Reform
Excerpt: "Each year the same people in Congress make the same self-serving decisions that leave us unprepared to revive a depressed economy, reverse a growing debt burden and renew America's leadership in the 21st century. The country is fed up. Congress' approval rating is now at 9%. So why does Congress have a reelection rate that rivals that of a Middle East dictator (93% over the last 5 years), despite having the lowest approval rating in history?"
  • Healthcare Reform
Excerpt: "While these are important issues to address, the act fails to address problems that are specific to El Paso and the border. As your congressman I will work to make sure that future legislation that carries out the provisions of the PPACA will help, and not hurt, El Paso."
  • Reyes Works?
Excerpt: "You may have seen the billboards reading "Reyes Works", here are the facts: Reyes has one of the worst voting and attendance records in Congress."
  • Jobs and the Economy
Excerpt: "There is greater economic opportunity in this region than in almost any other part of Americas right now. Whether it's our enviable position as the world's largest bi-national metroplex, having the country's largest military installation at Ft. Bliss or the country's newest four-year medical school as the anchor for the Medical Center of the Americas, there is abundant opportunity here."
  • Veterans Affairs
Excerpt: "Our veterans have honorably served our nation. It's time that our nation return the commitment and ensure that they are treated fairly, with dignity and respect. Unfortunately, as far too many veterans in El Paso have shared with me, they do not have the support they are owed."
  • Education
Excerpt: "Investment in education is key to the economic vitality of the nation and the region. As we move away from becoming a manufacturing nation, most jobs will come from a highly skilled labor force. Currently, the U.S. must hire 227,000 scientists and engineers from abroad to keep up with the demand in the U.S. economy."
  • Fort Bliss
Excerpt: "From the time of General John Pershing to the stewardship provided today by Major General Pittard, El Paso has been fortunate to have a strong relationship with Ft. Bliss. I will work to ensure that relationship produces more jobs and economic activity for local businesses in the future."
  • Term Limits
Excerpt: "Unfortunately, most house members are career politicians who are more concerned with the next election cycle than in making these tough decisions. They put personal considerations, party loyalty and payback to lobbyists and big donors before principle. "



See also: Texas' 16th congressional district elections, 2012

O'Rourke is running in the 2012 election for the U.S. House, representing Texas' 16th District. He faces incumbent Silvestre Reyes, Ben Mendoza, and Jerome Tilghman in the Democratic primary on May 29, 2012. Corey Roen and Barbara Carrasco are running for election on the Republican ticket. The general election will take place on November 6, 2012.[3]

Opponent targeted

O'Rourke's opponent, incumbent Silvestre Reyes has been targeted by the Super PAC Campaign for Primary Accountability in the 16th district Democratic primary. The PAC targeted Reyes because he has served for a long time, his constituents are dissatisfied, and there is a capable challenger.[4]

A Reyes spokesperson criticized the Campaign for Primary Accountability's implicit support of primary Reyes challenger O'Rourke, pointing out that Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor had contributed to the PAC for its efforts in a Republican primary in Illinois. The Huffington Post reports that O'Rourke has responded by distancing himself from Cantor, saying he is unfamiliar with the House Majority Leader's politics, but that "if he is emblematic about Republican ideology," O'Rourke would rarely agree with Cantor.[5]

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O'Rourke lives in Sunset Heights with his wife, Amy Sanders, and their three children.

See also

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