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beto than abbott?

Beto O'Rourke will challenge incumbent Greg Abbott in the 2022 Texas governor's race

Former 2020 presidential candidate and three-term congressmember Beto O'Rourke has announced a bid for governor of Texas in 2022, setting up a Democratic challenge to Republican incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott, Texas Monthly reports.

"Together, we can push past the small and divisive politics that we see in Texas today — and get back to the big, bold vision that used to define Texas," said O'Rourke on Twitter. "A Texas big enough for all of us."

Writes Texas Monthly, O'Rourke is "not expected to face any serious challengers for his party's nomination." And if he wins the race, he will become the "first Democrat to win statewide office in Texas since 1994, ending the longest statewide losing streak in America for either party."

But of course, it won't be easy — Abbott has raised more money "than any governor in U.S. history," over the summer reporting a war chest of $55 million. And though Abbott's popularity has seen better days, O'Rourke isn't exactly the lone star messiah he might hope to be — an October University of Texas poll found that 50 percent of respondents held an unfavorable view of O'Rourke, versus 48 percent who disapproved of Abbott, per Texas Monthly.

"I want to ... get past this smallness and divisiveness that Greg Abbott has brought to Texas," O'Rourke told Texas Monthly, criticizing Abbott's mismanagement of the state power grid and his stance on gender and race education in public schools, among other issues.

He added that he hopes to, over the next year, "make this case both about how Abbott has failed Texas and what we can do to ensure that this state truly reaches its potential."