Beto O’Rourke will mark his return to the presidential campaign trail by giving a “major address” Thursday in his hometown of El Paso, Texas — the scene of a mass shooting that killed 22 people, according to a report Wednesday.
The former Democratic congressman was in Nevada on Aug. 3 when a gunman opened fire in a Walmart in the border town. He immediately suspended his campaign for two weeks to return home.
In his speech to the nation, O’Rourke will outline the “path forward” for his 2020 presidential campaign and for the “future of the country,” the Associated Press reported.
He will then return to the stump, although his advisers haven’t announced his upcoming stops.
While his campaign was suspended, O’Rourke missed scheduled visits to California, Colorado and Iowa, where most of the field of Democratic hopefuls gathered at the state fair to pitch their message to voters.
O’Rourke’s putting his campaign on hold sparked speculation that he would ditch his presidential bid and remain in Texas to challenge GOP Sen. John Cornyn, who’s up for re-election next year.
The Houston Chronicle in an editorial asked O’Rourke to “come home.”
“Drop out of the race for president and come back to Texas to run for senator. The chances of winning the race you’re in now are vanishingly small. And Texas needs you,” the newspaper wrote on Saturday.
It noted how he barely lost to incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz during the 2018 midterm elections.
But his momentum has cooled since then and he’s averaging just above 2 percent in national surveys and has failed to qualify for next month’s debates.
O’Rourke’s campaign manager rejected the idea that he would mount a Senate run.
“Now more than ever, this country needs the honest leadership Beto continues to demonstrate – and that is why he is running for president,” Jen O’Malley Dillon said in a statement to the Associated Press.
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