Recap: Beto O'Rourke Rally at Backyard on Bell
Now only 48 days until midterm elections and Beto O’Rourke, the Irish-American, El Paso congressman, is on a Hail Mary play to be the first Democrat elected at the State level since Lloyd Bentsen’s Senate win in 1988.
O’Rourke stopped by Denton for the second time in his tour of the state since announcing his senate run in El Paso in March 2017.
Backyard on Bell hosted the rally this past Saturday, where over 2,500 participants RSVP’d for the event. When it came time for the congressman to speak the venue was already at full capacity, with excess crowds spilling out into the sidewalks and across the street at the Civic Center parking lot. Several people passed out from the heat in the crowded space.
Despite this, the rally held an almost festive atmosphere; with crowds being entertained by a local band and the speaking roster including local Democratic nominees Ramona Thompson, running for HD 106, and Kevin Lopez, running for SD 30. The crowd got emotional as several members of the local chapter of the gun safety advocacy group ‘Moms Demand Action’ spoke about how gun violence has affected their lives
O’Rourke took the stage at 1 p.m. and spoke with his trademark passionate delivery. His speech touched on a whole host of issues from immigration rights, affordable healthcare access, gun safety and climate change. He also took a few minutes to address the local police shooting of Botham Jean, tying it back to the conversation of why football players started kneeling during the National Anthem. He spoke for about 45 minutes before heading to his next event in Plano later that day.
The crowd size, the festive atmosphere and the charismatic delivery from the congressman, was telling for the momentum this campaign has gathered.
This month, O’Rourke’s campaign will be hosting two workshops in Denton called “The Plan to Win” that will coordinate and train paid campaign staff and volunteers on the final details of the campaign strategy for anyone who is interested. The campaign is also seeking spaces for what they are calling “pop-up” campaign shops - houses, garages, workshops, any structure that is able to host staff all day, everyday, has air conditioning, WiFi and restroom access that will host phone banks, block walks, and volunteer and staff trainings.
Follow O’Rourke’s campaign page for more information.
Header image courtesy of Beto O’Rourke campaign.
Header design by Tori Falcon.