Beto O'Rourke, the former congressman from El Paso, announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday morning, throwing his hat into a crowded ring. He had told local El Paso TV station KTSM he was entering the race in a text message Wednesday night and teased the decision in a new Vanity Fair profile. O'Rourke rose to national prominence last year during his run to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), a race he narrowly lost. He has few big legislative accomplishments to his name and no signature proposal, but his success with raising money through small donations and interacting with people at town halls around Texas make him a potentially formidable contender.

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