Published: Thu, March 14, 2019
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Beto to Make First Trip to Iowa

Beto to Make First Trip to Iowa

Still, it would seem the former congressman is set to make an announcement sooner rather than later.

The three-day itinerary for his first visit to the early-voting state is intended "to allow space for him to meet voters", said another Iowa Democratic official, who spoke to O'Rourke's advisers. While he ruled out running again for the U.S. Senate seat in Texas, he stopped short of revealing if his decision included launching a challenge to President Donald Trump in 2020.

The former congressman also visited the state of Wisconsin last month, meeting with students at a technical college in Milwaukee and at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

Paul Ratje  AFP  Getty Images FILE
Paul Ratje AFP Getty Images FILE

"Supporting [Giddens] for state Senate is the way that we get Iowa - and by extension, this country - back on the right track", O'Rourke said while wearing a Northern Iowa hat in the video.

A Des Moines Register/CNN Iowa poll released this weekend found that O'Rourke has dropped six percentage points from the first Iowa poll that was released in December. Ted Cruz defeated O'Rourke in November 2018, the former El Paso congressman revealed that he was mulling over running for president in 2020, despite repeatedly claiming that the answer to whether he will run or not is a "definitive no".

Chris Evans, a spokesman for O'Rourke, confirmed in an email to Reuters that O'Rourke will be in Waterloo, Iowa, campaigning for Giddens on Saturday afternoon.

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Rep. Beto O'Rourke speaks to constituents outside of a polling location at Nixon Elementary School in El Paso, Texas, Nov. 6, 2018.

Other Democratic presidential candidates have already visited Iowa ahead of O'Rourke's visit. Paul Tewes, who led Barack Obama's 2008 Iowa operation, and Margaret Jarosz, who was working for Sen.

CNN reported earlier on Monday that O'Rourke and his team have been in discussions for O'Rourke to make the video and knock on doors for Giddens in the northeast Iowa district this weekend, according to multiple state Democratic sources.

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The developments underscore how quickly O'Rourke - a little-known congressman before he raised $80 million in his Senate run against Cruz - is assembling a national team, something other candidates spent much of a year ago preparing to do.

O'Rourke said last week he had made a decision about whether to seek the Democratic nomination for president. "We are excited to share it with everyone soon".

O'Rourke has also been running ads on Facebook teasing an upcoming announcement, another sign that he is looking to engage the base of supporters he gained during his Senate bid. "We just want to continue to be a part of it".

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