Born: September 26, 1972
Birthplace: El Paso, Texas
Age on Inauguration Day: 48
Party affiliation: Democrat
Campaign website: betoorourke.com
Education: Columbia University (Bachelor’s degree in English)
Professions: Web technology entrepreneur; musician
Public office: El Paso City Councilman (2005-2011); U.S. Representative from Texas (2013-2019)
Personal: O’Rourke and his wife, Amy, have three children.
Life and career:
- Narrowly lost U.S. Senate race to incumbent Republican Ted Cruz in 2018 by a margin of 2.6 percent (214,921 vote difference out of more than 8.3 million votes). It was the closest a Democrat has come to winning a U.S. Senate campaign in Texas in 30 years.
- Vowed during his Senate campaign not to run for president in 2020, but after nearly defeating Cruz, he was courted by prominent Democrats and met with former President Barack Obama.
- Given name is Robert Francis O’Rourke. He explained in a CNN town hall that the name Beto was a nickname he was given while growing up in El Paso, which has a mostly Hispanic population.
- Has promoted El Paso’s relationship with neighboring Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. He has also opposed President Trump’s border wall.
- Supported universal health care, a ban on assault weapons, universal background checks for gun buyers and legalizing marijuana.
- Told a CNN town hall he would vote to impeach President Trump for Trump’s behavior related to the Russia election interference probe.
- Has gained following for transparency on social media, from doing Facebook Lives on a bipartisan road trip with Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, to livestreaming his dental cleaning.
- Guitarist for punk rock band "Foss."
- Arrested in 1995 for breaking into the University of Texas-El Paso campus and again in 1998 for drunken driving. Both misdemeanors were dismissed. O’Rourke has said his public service has been a way to make up for those.