Rep. Beto O’Rourke and Julián Castro, former secretary of Housing and Urban Development, are both inching toward presidential campaigns in a race sure to test the allegiances of Democrats in Texas – the home state of both men, Politico is reporting.
And while both would likely run on different platforms and attract different donors, the delegate-rich Texas primary could end up being a big prize assuming the two eventually enter the race, the website noted.
O’Rourke, who narrowly lost the Senate race to Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in November, has already met with former President Barack Obama, as he nears a decision whether to run in 2020.
Jeff Roe, Cruz’s chief strategist, said in November that Democrats “don’t have anyone of (O’Rourke’s) caliber on the national stage.”
Castro, the former mayor of San Antonio was the Texan to watch in the presidential race for 2020 before O’Rourke drew national attention, Politico said. Still, some strategists say there is room for both men in the campaign.
“I think they both have national visibility,” said Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa. “They're both well respected. They’re both considered progressives. Their politics probably mirror each other. They both excite a large part of the Democratic base.”
Colin Strother, a Texas Democratic strategist who has advised Castro in previous campaigns, added: “This idea that there’s a finite constituency that they’re going to chop up, I just don’t see it … I see them as two completely different types of candidates.”
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