After Spending $79 Million on Senate Run, Beto Says Senate Seat Not 'Good Enough'

O'Rourke rejects calls to drop out of presidential race

Rep. Beto O'Rourke / Getty Images
August 15, 2019

Less than a year after he spent $79 million in his attempt to get elected to the U.S. Senate, former Democratic congressman Robert "Beto" O'Rourke now says a Senate seat isn't "good enough."

O'Rourke, who came out on the losing side of the most expensive Senate election in U.S. history last cycle, is being urged by many on his side of the aisle to abandon his presidential bid in favor of another shot at a Senate seat, this time against incumbent Republican senator John Cornyn. He told supporters in his hometown of El Paso on Thursday he wasn't interested.

"There have even been some who suggested that I stay in Texas and run for Senate," O'Rourke said. "But that would not be good enough for this community, that would not be good enough for El Paso, that would not be good enough for this country."

The comment was delivered during a "campaign reset" speech by O'Rourke, who has failed to get any traction since announcing his run for president in March. He is still polling in the low single digits, according to RealClearPolitics, and has already reset his campaign twice since launching.

It comes less than a week after the Houston Chronicle editorial board called on him to return to Texas for a Senate run.

"Drop out of the race for president and come back to Texas to run for senator," the editorial board wrote. "The chances of you winning the race you’re in now are vanishingly small. And Texas needs you."

Just after learning of his loss last year, O'Rourke said his Senate campaign "holds a very special place in the history of this country" and that he was "forever changed" by his run.