O’Rourke stops in Denton as part of 254 county tour

O’Rourke stops in Denton as part of 254 county tour

O’Rourke stops in Denton as part of 254 county tour
June 13
23:53 2018

Energy and unity was the message Beto O’Rourke conveyed at the 4th annual LBJ/Obama dinner on Saturday evening in Lewisville, Texas — a message that was echoed by Lupe Valdez, the Democratic candidate for Texas governor.

The dinner was held by Denton County Democrats. O’Rourke gave a 30-minute impassioned speech as the keynote speaker for the 340 attendees.

Throughout his speech, O’Rourke touched on issues such as gun control, healthcare and immigration as well as grassroots organizing and the current state of the United States.

“When we focus not on the next election but the next generation that succeeds us, we are gonna be a better country for it,” O’Rourke said.

He also called for national and local unity.

“There is more that unites us than divides us,” O’Rourke said. “Before we are democrats or republicans, we are human beings.”

That same day, O’Rourke hit a campaign milestone of visiting all 254 counties in Texas since the start of his campaign.

“This is the most momentous election,” O’Rourke said. “The most important year — not of just our lifetime but perhaps for this country since 1860.”

O’Rourke stated that he not only wants to represent Texas democrats but all Texans, as well.

Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke speaks about unity at the 4th annual LBJ dinner in Lewisville. The topics discussed during his 30-minute speech centered around gun control, immigration and health care. Jessika Hardy

“You are one of our fellow Texans, and I want to fight for you, and I want to represent you,” he said.

O’Rourke wants to invest in providing internet access to rural communities which he compared to the Rural Electrification Act that brought electricity to rural communities in the 1930s. He believes that making the internet more accessible could also make higher education more accessible for rural communities.

Lupe Valdez spoke toward the end of the event where she arrived a few minutes late after making a campaign stop in Houston earlier in the day. Valdez is the former sheriff of Dallas County, a veteran and openly gay. She reiterated many of the same issues O’Rourke mentioned earlier in the evening.

“We need to go back to giving a darn about how our healthcare and public education is handled,” Valdez said. “Our priorities should be our healthcare, our children and an economy that works for everyone.”

Valdez also shared her experience growing up as a poor farm worker and being unable to afford healthcare.

“Do we go to the doctor or a ver que pasa [see what happens],” she said. “A ver que pasa is not an affordable healthcare plan.”

Valdez said she was tired of politicians only looking to get elected.

“I get really tired of politicians who come to you and say all kinds of things then they go into office and they forget all the stuff they talked about,” she said. “We need to elect people who say, ‘I got mine, now let me find a path for you.’”

Several people involved in Denton County politics attended the dinner including Andrew Morris, Will Fisher, Laura Haines and Democratic candidates for varying local government positions.

By the end of the night, the message shared by Beto O’Rourke and local leadership was that of riding the “blue wave.”

“We are all in this together, and let’s bring as many people with us as we can,” O’Rourke said.

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Emilia Capuchino

Emilia Capuchino

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