Government

Beto O'Rourke to visit Cedar Rapids on Friday, Dubuque and Waterloo on Saturday

Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, shakes hands with a voter outside a polling station in El Paso, Texas, during O’Rourke’s bid for Sen. Ted Cruz’s seat in the fall. O’Rourke left his congressional post to run for Senate, and hasn’t yet said whether he will seek the presidency in 2020. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Sergio Flores.
Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, shakes hands with a voter outside a polling station in El Paso, Texas, during O’Rourke’s bid for Sen. Ted Cruz’s seat in the fall. O’Rourke left his congressional post to run for Senate, and hasn’t yet said whether he will seek the presidency in 2020. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Sergio Flores.

Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke, who announced his candidacy for president Thursday, is heading to Eastern Iowa later this week for a multistop, multiday visit.

O’Rourke, 46, is slated to visit Cedar Rapids on Friday where he will participate in the Political Party Live podcast at 6:30 p.m. at Raygun, 1028 Third St. SE. The podcast is hosted by Linn County Supervisor Stacey Walker and entrepreneur Simeon Talley. Space is limited and people are encouraged to register in advance.

O’Rourke is also scheduled for other stops on Friday and Saturday, but those have not been made public.

On Saturday, a “Saint Patrick’s Day House Party with Special Guest Beto O’Rourke” hosted by John Murphy’s campaign for Dubuque County Recorder is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at 410 Shrewsbury Lane in Dubuque, according to a public event on Facebook.

Democratic state Senate candidate Eric Giddens, who is running against Walt Rogers, posted on Twitter that his campaign and O’Rourke “look forward to getting out the #PantherVote and seeing you on Saturday.” Politico is reporting the stop will be in Waterloo.

O’Rourke, a fourth-generation Texan from El Paso who graduated from Columbia University with a degree in English literature, started a small technology business in Texas. He was one of the youngest elected to the El Paso City Council in 2005 and ran for U.S. Congress in 2012, defeating a 16-year incumbent.

O’Rourke gained national attention in his narrow loss in a Texas U.S. Senate rate against Republican Sen. Ted Cruz. On Wednesday, he told El Paso TV station KTSM-TV that he plans to officially join the crowded field for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination Thursday.

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Iowa Democratic veteran Norm Sterzenbach has been brought on to assist O’Rourke in the state, according to Politico.

A December Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa Poll found O’Rourke would be the top choice of 11 percent of likely Democratic caucusgoers, trailing only former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, but a March poll found his support had slipped to 5 percent, according to the newspaper.

• Comments: (319) 398-8310; brian.morelli@thegazette.com

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