A group calling itself “Draft Beto” has emerged to try and push former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, into running for president in 2020, Salon reports.
Draft Beto co-founder Nate Lerner said that their goal is “not only to encourage Beto to run but also to build up the grassroots, the financial, the political infrastructure to help give him a head start when he does declare.” He also said it was intended to show the former congressman that “the energy that's out there for him, how real it is and the strength of it.”
O’Rourke raised more money in the third quarter of his Senate run against Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, $38 million, than any other Senate candidate in history. Although he lost that bid, the former congressman did well enough to attract interest from prominent Democratic donors and leading officials in the party.
Draft Beto mirrors the “Ready for Hillary” super PAC that organized before former secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign officially began. Adam Parkhomenko, founder of Ready for Hillary, told Salon that if he were consulting O’Rourke, he would tell him to "get in as quickly as possible after the November election . . . because he could've rolled all that [momentum], kept it going and I think he probably would have kept a handful of people from running. I think he would have cleared [the Democratic field] a lot just because of how much momentum he had on his side."
Parkhomenko added, "the momentum we see around him is unique, and it’s not something you see come out of nowhere, all of a sudden, like you've seen with him."
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