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Beto O’Rourke Says Uvalde Shooting Will Change Texas Governor Race

Beto O’Rourke Says Uvalde Shooting Will Change Texas Governor Race

Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke once gave his campaign a jolt this week by imploring a national audience that it was finally time for real action to curb the proliferation of high-powered guns in his home state and across America, but it wasn’t this week after the Uvalde massacre.

That was in 2019, and the former Congressman was a current candidate for President when he declared during a debate, “Hell, yes, we’re gonna take your AR-15,” weeks after a gunman targeting Mexican immigrants killed 23 people at a Wal-Mart in O’Rourke’s native El Paso. But O’Rourke’s blunt take on assault weapons hasn’t wavered in three years since then, something he’s proven repeatedly with his actions.

Last week, following the massacre of 19 elementary school students and two teachers by an 18-year-old man with an AR-15-style rifle in Uvalde, Texas, O’Rourke, who’s now campaigning for governor, once again went viral. This time, that meant crashing the news conference of the man he wants to unseat, Republican Greg Abbott, and declaring — in a moment subsequently viewed widely online — that the carnage was “on you.”

Despite the pro-gun culture looming larger in Texas than perhaps anywhere else, O’Rourke is still betting that the tragedy in Uvalde can “reset” the Governor’s race in America’s largest red state. Abbott twice previously won his elections by landslides and has more campaign funds, with $55 million in his coffers. Still, Beto’s supporters hope he recaptures the magic that saw him become a national Democratic star and nearly upset Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018.

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