AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Former congressman Beto O'Rourke is running for president.
The 46-year-old officially announced his 2020 Democratic primary bid Thursday with an online post. After months of teasing a bid, he's finally, formally hoping to turn buzz from a close loss in Texas' 2018 Senate race into a White House try.
O'Rourke nearly upset Sen. Ted Cruz. Since then, his blend of Kennedy-esque looks, easygoing charisma and bipartisan optimism has helped his national political star burn brighter.
Democrats have long dreamed that a booming Hispanic population could eventually flip Texas blue and transform the electoral college, making the Republican path to the presidency all but impossible.
O'Rourke's home-state appeal may not prove to be enough to make Texas competitive, however, as the Democrats try to deny President Donald Trump a second term.