Beto O'Rourke tells Texas TV station he's running for president


The 46-year-old Democrat was the US Senate nominee but narrowly lost to Republican rival Senator Ted Cruz in 2018.

He wrote: "I'm really proud of what El Paso did and what El Paso represents".

O'Rourke planned to follow his announcement with a trip to Iowa, the state that will hold the first Democratic nominating contest in February 2020.

Earlier in the day, Vanity Fair magazine published a story on O'Rourke's thinking on whether to enter the crowded Democratic field.

Thursday morning's announcement will leave former Vice President Joe Biden as the last big name yet to make a decision about the 2020 campaign. In an encouraging sign, however, a third of respondents said they did not know enough about him to have an opinion.

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The former USA congressman enters as a formidable candidate. Kamala Harris of California, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Corey Booker of New Jersey, among others.

He added: "You can probably tell that I want to run. I do".

In 2012, he won against incumbent Democratic congressman Silvestre Reyes in a Latino-majority district, and was re-elected twice before giving up his seat to run against Cruz.

Mr O'Rourke, a former punk musician who sometimes went skateboarding to blow off steam on the Texas campaign trail, has been tipped to quickly achieve rockstar status with a run.