New Braunfels for Beto Celebrates O’Rourke’s Gubernatorial Announcement
New Braunfels for Beto, a group of local Democrats that meets monthly to discuss politics, never gave up on Beto O’Rourke.
When O’Rourke, a Democrat, lost the U.S. Senate race to Ted Cruz in 2018, they kept meeting. When his bid for the Democratic nomination to the U.S. presidency failed in 2020, they kept the faith.
On Wednesday, the group renewed their commitment to the man they see as the answer to Texas’ problems at the Faust Hotel in New Braunfels.
Only a handful of the faithful was there at their monthly meeting, which was not widely publicized, but the excitement over O’Rouke’s Monday announcement that he will take on Gov. Greg Abbott in 2022 was palpable.
“I kept the name because it gave us hope and the ideals that he exposed us to as a politician were ideals we needed to follow,” said John Porter, founder of New Braunfels for Beto.
Comal Democrats are more organized than ever, he said, and over time Porter has learned there are many more Democrats in the county than anyone realized. Many of them are disturbed by what they perceive as tacit racism in New Braunfels City Council, New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, area school districts and police departments.
“We’re going to try to be loud and proud and fight for the things we believe in,” he said. “There’s a lot of things that are wrong here that we have to push back against.”
Porter hopes that O’Rourke will lend his support to down-ballot candidates, something he declined to do in previous races.
Joe Lopez, treasurer of the New Braunfels chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), said the city is 39% Hispanic. He said O’Rourke speaks Spanish and is a people person who will deliver change to Latinx populations.
“People are more likely to listen to him,” Lopez said.