The Human Rights Campaign has endorsed El Paso Democrat Beto O’Rourke for U.S. Senate. O’Rourke is running against Ted Cruz, the incumbent, junior U.S. Senator from Texas.
“While Ted Cruz has spent his career undermining the rights of LGBTQ people for his own cynical, political gain, Beto O’Rourke is a proven champion of equality who will defend the rights of all Texans. That’s why HRC is proud to endorse Beto O’Rourke’s candidacy for the United States Senate,” said HRC President Chad Griffin.
“Our campaign is proud to have the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign and its thousands of advocates for LGBTQ equality across Texas,” O’Rourke said. “Together, we will work to ensure our state finally has a voice in the Senate who is committed to passing the Equality Act, standing up to discriminatory and dangerous measures like SB6, supporting transgender troops serving our country across the globe, ensuring a caring same-sex couples can open their home to one of Texas’ 30,000 children in foster care and continuing the daily fight for equal justice under law in this country.”
O’Rourke has been the U.S. Representative from Texas’s 16th congressional district in his native El Paso since 2012. He has been a strong supporter of LGBT rights including marriage equality, LGBT nondiscrimination protections, and anti-bullying protections for LGBT students in schools.
During his campaign for the U.S. Senate, O’Rourke has traveled to areas of Texas which have not had an event with a statewide office holder in years, including Republican-leaning cities that Ted Cruz has never visited.
O’Rourke has also sworn off PAC money. Despite this, on April 13, his campaign announced he had raised $6.7 million, surpassing not just his opponent but posting one of the highest quarterly totals of any previous federal campaign, outside of presidential races.
In a profile of O’Rourke in the Texas Observer, Christopher Hooks write, “In nearly every conceivable way, O’Rourke is the antithesis of his opponent. Cruz works hard to be liked — he’s carefully machined and makes many of his colleagues uncomfortable. O’Rourke is boyish and handsome, effortlessly charismatic, and seems to hold genuine affection for just about everyone he talks to.”
Around the state, O’Rourke has been endorsed by numerous LGBT groups including the Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio.
“By electing Beto O’Rourke and defeating the anti-equality Ted Cruz, we can not only pull the emergency brake on this administration’s hate-fueled agenda, but send a message that the days of attacking LGBTQ people for political gain are over,” Griffin said in HRC’s announcement.