Days after former President Barack Obama released his latest round of congressional endorsements, one high-profile Democrat running for a U.S. Senate seat in Texas dismissed the fact that his name is still not on the list.
According to The Washington Free Beacon, Beto O’Rourke told reporters on Thursday that he was not concerned about the exclusion.
Obama announced his latest endorsements — including nine new names running for office in Texas — in a tweet earlier this week.
“Today, I’m proud to endorse even more Democratic candidates who aren’t just running against something, but for something—to expand opportunity for all of us and to restore dignity, honor, and compassion to public service,” he wrote.
Today, I’m proud to endorse even more Democratic candidates who aren’t just running against something, but for something—to expand opportunity for all of us and to restore dignity, honor, and compassion to public service. They deserve your vote: pic.twitter.com/NO5jnhX3XD
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) October 1, 2018
Obama added that the names on his revised list “deserve your vote.”
O’Rourke discounted the importance of a national endorsement, even from a prominent figure like Obama, in what he described as a state-specific race.
“I don’t think we’re interested,” he said when asked for a response about Obama’s endorsement.
His comment came following a town hall event held as part of his effort to unseat incumbent Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.
The Texas Tribune reported that the three-term congressman expressed praise for Obama despite his insistence that he does not need explicit support from the former president.
“I am so grateful for his service, he’s going to go down as one of the greatest presidents,” O’Rourke said. “And yet, this (election) is on Texas.”
He went on to confirm that his campaign did not solicit any such endorsement, noting that he won his 2012 race despite Obama’s support for his incumbent rival.
The then-president backed Rep. Silvestre Reyes in the earlier race, which O’Rourke ended up winning by a narrow margin.
As the midterms approach, polls show Cruz leads his challenger in a competitive race that has attracted widespread national attention.
As The Dallas Morning News reported, O’Rourke has been able to raise more money than his incumbent rival despite the polling deficit.
In a recent interview, he acknowledged that the race remains dynamic and held open the possibility of any outcome.
“Whatever the polls show in Texas, they show that this is possible — our victory,” O’Rourke said.
In the final weeks of the campaign, he said that it is “just on all of us to see it through” to the end.
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