O’Rourke bets shooting will shake up Texas governor’s race

It’s too early to tell what will happen in the governor’s race, but the shooting has already affected both parties. Abbott canceled his planned visit to the annual National Rifle Association meeting to remain in Uvalde. Also skipping it was Republican Texas Sen. John Cornyn, who is among those negotiating with Democratic colleagues on strengthening background checks and “red flag” laws allowing authorities to remove firearms from those determined to be a danger to themselves or others.

“I think it felt cathartic for a lot of people that maybe might have been on the fence,” said Abel Prado, executive director of the Democratic advocacy group Cambio Texas. “It gives you, ‘At least somebody’s trying to stand up and do something, or at least say something.’”…

“To those men and women in positions of power who care more about your power than using that power to save the lives of those that you are supposed to serve …. we will defeat you and we will overcome you,” O’Rourke told protesters who chanted his name and the phrase “Vote them out!

Supporters hope O’Rourke recaptures the magic that saw him become a national Democratic star and nearly upset Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018. But since then, O’Rourke’s White House bid fizzled, former President Donald Trump easily won Texas in 2020 and Democrats who had hoped to flip scores of congressional and legislative seats in the state that year lost nearly every top race.

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