- Former congressman Beto O’Rourke has secured multiple endorsements on the first day of his candidacy, including from several high-profile lawmakers whom do not hail from his home state of Texas.
- Reps. Kathleen Rice and Sean-Patrick Maloney of New York, Stephanie Murphy of Florida, and former Maryland Governor and 2016 presidential candidate Martin O’Malley backed O’Rourke.
- Rice and Maloney’s early endorsements of O’Rourke were particularly notable considering one of the members of their state’s delegation, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, is also running for president.
Within less than 12 hours of announcing his 2020 presidential campaign, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke had secured multiple endorsements from high-profile lawmakers – many of whom do not hail from his home state of Texas.
The endorsements came from several of O’Rourke’s former moderate Democratic House colleagues, including Reps. Kathleen Rice and Sean-Patrick Maloney of New York, Stephanie Murphy of Florida, and former Maryland Governor and 2016 presidential candidate Martin O’Malley.
O’Rourke also secured the endorsement of Rep. Veronica Escobar, the congresswoman who represents the El Paso, Texas congressional district O’Rourke vacated to run for US Senate in 2018.
It is typical in presidential campaign cycles for candidates to receive the backing of federal and state politicians from their home state. Cory Booker, for example, locked down the support of New Jersey’s entire Democratic congressional delegation all at once.
And on the day of O’Rourke’s announcement, fellow presidential contender and Texan Julián Castro announced he had the backing of dozens of Texas state lawmakers and local officials.
While Booker as well as Sens. Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders have racked up dozens of endorsements from federal and state officials, very few of them hail from outside of their respective home states – although Sanders did receive the endorsement of progressive California Rep. Ro Khanna.
Rice and Maloney’s early endorsements of O’Rourke were particularly noteworthy considering that one of the members of their delegation, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, is also running for president.
Both Politico and the New York Times have reported that despite her team’s behind-the-scenes efforts, Gillibrand has failed to secure a single endorsement from any of the other 22 Democratic members of New York’s congressional delegation since announcing her exploratory committee in January.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York also said she doesn’t believe Gillibrand can win rust-belt, Midwestern states, with another Democratic source telling the New York Daily News that “no one takes her seriously” in the New York delegation.