Some local Democrats rallying around O’Rourke for president

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After narrowly losing a U.S. Senate race in Texas last year, former Congressman Beto O’Rourke is considering a run for president in 2020.

Should he pull the trigger on a campaign, O’Rourke would have support lined up from at least two prominent local Democrats.

Former Lt. Gov. John Cherry, now the chair of the Genesee County Democratic Party, said that O’Rourke offers a different style of campaigning than other declared candidates.

“Right now, I think that what Beto O’Rourke offers is a personal touch that is really needed in national politics at the moment,” Cherry said. “As a candidate, he got out and actually spent time with actual voters. I think the danger with American politics today is people’s dependence upon social media to be their interface with voters.”

Cherry first discussed his desire for O’Rourke to run in December 2018, making a Facebook post declaring: “Make no question about it! I am a Beto O’Rourke fan!”

Congressman Dan Kildee (D-Flint Township) speaks at the Michigan Democratic Party’s election night watch party in Detroit on Nov. 6, 2018. (Andrew Roth | Flint Beat)

One of O’Rourke’s then-colleagues in the House of Representatives, Congressman Dan Kildee (D-Flint), commented on the status, noting that the two men shared a Capitol Hill townhouse.

Kildee said in an interview that he has shared his “great admiration” of O’Rourke with the Texas Democrat and that he hopes to see O’Rourke visit Michigan.

“There are a lot of folks back home interested in Beto and what his future might hold,” Kildee said. “I talked to him about this the other day and I basically gave him an open invitation.”

However, should O’Rourke decide against mounting a bid for president, there is a possibility that the party’s nominee for president selects O’Rourke as a running mate – the Associated Press reports that former Vice President Joe Biden is among those already considering the possibility.

But Cherry said that O’Rourke shouldn’t wait around hoping to get picked as somebody’s running mate.

“I think campaigns floating a candidate as a prospective vice presidential candidate are doing it out of fear of getting them out of the way,” Cherry said.

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