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Democrat Beto O'Rourke announces bid for Texas Governor

 
Houston, Nov 16 (IANS) Former presidential contender Beto O'Rourke has announced that he was running for Texas Governor against two-term Republican incumbent Greg Abbott.

Taking to Twitter, the former Democrat Congressman said on Monday: "I'm running for Governor. Together, we can push past the small and divisive politics that we see in Texas today — and get back to the big, bold vision that used to define Texas. A Texas big enough for all of us."

In another tweet following the announcement, the 49-year-old said his campaign was "by the people of Texas, for the people of Texas".

If he wins, he will become the first Democrat to hold the seat since the 1990s.

In a video announcing his campaign, O'Rourke also said he plans to expand Medicaid coverage and legalise marijuana in the state, while criticising the Republican Party's positions on education, abortion and guns.

O'Rourke is seen as a heavy favourite in the Democratic primary to challenge Abbott next year, according to local media reports.

Speaking to The Texas Tribune, O'Rourke said he wants the state "get past the small, divisive politics and policies of Greg Abbott".

The Democrat told the newspaper that Abbott "has stopped listening to and trusting the people of Texas", while criticising the incumbent Governor over the February power grid failure that left most of the state without electricity in freezing temperatures, as well as his response to the coronavirus pandemic.

--IANS
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