North Texas Daily

Beto O’Rourke talks bipartisanship, healthcare at Denton town hall

Beto O’Rourke talks bipartisanship, healthcare at Denton town hall

Beto O’Rourke talks bipartisanship, healthcare at Denton town hall
September 15
18:27 2018

About 2,200 people attended a town hall in Denton to hear Democratic U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Backyard on Bell. O’Rourke is running for the Texas Senate seat currently held by Republican incumbent challenger Ted Cruz.

The rally was O’Rourke’s fifth visit to the city of Denton since his campaign for Senate began in 2017, his last visit being in April at UNT’s Gateway Center. O’Rourke has been a congressman since 2013, serving in Texas’ 16th district, having previously served on the El Paso City Council from 2005-2011.

A central topic of O’Rourke’s message to attendees on Saturday was that his campaign is not focused on partisanship, but working together.

“We’re not running a campaign against anyone, we’re not running against another political party. We are running a campaign for this country and for each and every single one of us,” O’Rourke said. “So I know that Republicans, and Independents and Democrats are going to be able to come together to meet these challenges.”

O’Rourke mentioned women’s healthcare as an issue in Texas, noting that the state is at the “epicenter of a maternal mortality crisis,” with more women dying due to complications of pregnancy or birth in Texas than any other state or developed country in the world.

UNT environmental geography student Claire Pitre said she first heard about O’Rourke while studying abroad in Germany last semester. O’Rourke’s views on women’s healthcare are what caught her attention and ultimately led her to attend the town hall.

“I had just heard some really cool things about his stance on immigration and on women’s health rights and healthcare in general so I just wanted to hear it from Beto himself,” Pitre said.

“What if we decided that healthcare also means ensuring that every woman can make her own decisions about her own body?” O’Rourke said to attendees.

Frisco residents Tom and Jackie Jones, 54 and 51, attended the town hall in support of what they believe to be O’Rourke’s message of government representing the people.

“He represents the people,” Tom said. “The biggest issue is that he wants the government to be of the people, and he wants people to talk, I think that’s something people have gotten away from.”

Jones said he would like to see more action being taken by government officials, and thinks O’Rourke might be able to accomplish that.

“Even if you disagree, talk about it,” Tom said. “Our government is built on having conversations with people about issues that maybe there is disagreement because through discussion comes understanding that will lead to compromise that will lead to action. Right now, there is no action.”

O’Rourke told the North Texas Daily he wants to take into consideration the thoughts and concerns of all Texans.

“It’s not just about showing up, it’s about coming back and listening to those I want to serve and represent and their ideas and their questions,” O’Rourke said. “The accountability that they’re demanding from me, that is the fuel that drives this campaign.”

Another challenge O’Rourke said Texas is facing is it’s attention to veterans after they return from combat.

“We have to end these wars, we have to bring these service members back home, and when they come home we have to make sure that they get the care they have earned,” O’Rourke said. “Twenty veterans a day, every single day, losing their lives by their own hand, the majority of them — 14 of those 20 — unable or unwilling to go into a VA for whatever reason, to see that provider who could literally make a life or difference for them. This cannot be an issue.”

As he closed out the town hall, O’Rourke again reminded the crowd that his mission for the campaign is not about party affiliations, but about his goal of working together.

“We’re going to continue to tell you, if you are a Republican and you’re here, you’re in the right place,” O’Rourke said. “If you’re a democrat and you’re here, you’re in the right place. If you’re an independent and you’re here, you’re in the right place. It’s going to be all of us coming together to do something great for this country. To do something great for this state.”

O’Rourke is set to take part in a series of debates against challenger Ted Cruz leading up to the election, the first of which is being held on Friday, Sept. 21 at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

If elected in November, O’Rourke will become the first Democrat to win a U.S. senate race in Texas in 30 years.

Featured Image: Democrat Beto O’Rourke leads a town hall-style rally Saturday afternoon at Denton’s Backyard on Bell as part of his campaign for a United States Senate seat, which is currently held by Republican Ted Cruz.  Sean Riedel

About Author

Alec Spicer

Alec Spicer

Alec is the Editor-in-Chief of the North Texas Daily.

Sean Riedel

Sean Riedel

Sean Riedel was the news editor at the North Texas Daily from August 2018 to May 2019, and previously served as a staff writer from June 2017 to August 2018.

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1 Comment

  1. Former Texas Repubican
    Former Texas Repubican September 15, 23:05

    Refreshing to listen to Beto talk about unity rather than blame. What the electorate understands that the guy in the Whitehouse does not is, we are all on the same team.

    Reply to this comment

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