Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Northwestern College Democrats to host Beto O’Rourke as fall speaker

Illustration by Shveta Shah
O’Rourke served three terms in Congress and ran unsuccessfully for president and governor of Texas.

Northwestern College Democrats will host Texas politician Beto O’Rourke for its fall speaker event, the group announced Monday. O’Rourke will speak at 7 p.m. on Nov. 14 in the Louis Room at Norris University Center.

O’Rourke was elected to the House of Representatives in 2012 and subsequently represented Texas’ 16th Congressional District for three consecutive terms.

“We are so excited to bring Beto O’Rourke to campus,” said Medill senior Anna Lansford, co-president of NU College Democrats. “As we wrap up the 2023 election cycle and prepare for a high-stakes election season in 2024, we look forward to learning from his extensive experience crafting effective campaign strategy, promoting dialogue across the aisle, and mobilizing Democratic voters in red states.”

O’Rourke gave up his seat in 2018 to challenge Republican Sen. Ted Cruz for his seat in the Senate. After losing to Cruz by just 2.6 percentage points — the closest margin of any statewide Texas election in two decades — O’Rourke announced his candidacy for president in March 2019. He suspended his campaign seven months later due to low poll numbers and fundraising struggles.

O’Rourke announced his bid for the Texas governorship in November 2021, winning the Democratic nomination to challenge incumbent Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in March 2022. He lost to Abbott in Nov. 2022 by 11 percentage points, consistent with polls that showed Abbott with a strong lead over O’Rourke throughout the campaign.

O’Rourke wrote “We’ve Got to Try: How the Fight for Voting Rights Makes Everything Else Possible” — his second book — in 2022. He currently leads Powered by People, a political action committee he founded in 2019 that aims to support Democratic candidates through voter registration and engagement.

SESP Prof. Tabitha Bonilla will moderate the event, NU College Democrats said. Bonilla — a member of the Institute for Policy Research — studies the role of elite communication in public opinion and political policies.

SESP senior Dalia Segal-Miller, events director for the chapter, said Bonilla’s expertise in political behavior, voter mobilization and campaign messaging made her a fitting choice to speak with O’Rourke.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @jacob_wendler

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