Meet Beto O'Rourke, The Pro-Pot Former Punk Guitarist Who Could Beat Ted Cruz And Ignite Blue Wave

U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas is a former punk guitarist who curses like a sailor. He’s pro-choice, pro-gun control, pro-pot and pro-immigration, and he’s aiming to take Ted Cruz’s Senate seat in November.

In any other year, the Democratic lawmaker would be a political footnote in deep-red Texas, where no one from his party has won statewide office in more than two decades.

But as Democrats head to the polls in their party's primary Tuesday, they are turning out in record numbers, in part to help make O'Rourke their standard-bearer—a surprising sign that Democratic enthusiasm in the Donald Trump era is sweeping even the most conservative states ahead of the midterm elections.

And, as O'Rourke likes to point out on the campaign trail, he has raised nearly three times as much money as Cruz this year, all without accepting contributions from corporations or political action committees. (He recently returned donations from the American Bankers Association and Vistra Energy.)

Others, however, are much more skeptical. O'Rourke says that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has yet to prioritize his campaign. And state Republicans, as well as some establishment Democrats, say it will take more time for the state's changing demographics to make Texas more competitive.

“Turning Texas blue has been the great white whale for Democrats,” said Ford O’Connell, a Republican strategist. “And it will turn blue, but not in 2018. It would take a major meltdown for Cruz to lose. The idea makes for good cocktail conversation, but there’s not much to watch.”

Read more from Nicole Goodkind at Newsweek

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