Beto O’Rourke Campaigns In LBJ’s Hometown

"Since I have lived here, we have never had a Senator here." - Johnson City, Texas Mayor Dawn Capra
U.S. Senate Candidate Beto O'rourke campaigning in Johnson City, Texas in 93-degree weather (Matthew Reyna/Rantt Media)

U.S. Senate Candidate Beto O’rourke campaigning in Johnson City, Texas in 93-degree weather (Matthew Reyna/Rantt Media)

At a campaign event in the hometown of the last Texas-born President — Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate in Texas, was received warmly by local residents and city officials.

In Johnson City, the hometown of the late 36th President Lyndon Baines Johnson, more than 700 people showed up to 290 Vinery to support O’Rourke’s campaign.

Johnson City’s population is currently listed at 1,852.

O’Rourke gave a speech that touched on regular themes of his campaign — compassionate immigration reform, reintroducing civility to politics, and ensuring that rural communities are connected to the internet — before taking questions from the audience.

The Senate hopeful credited Johnson City Mayor Dawn Capra for enlightening him on the issue of rural internet connectivity.

O’Rourke received a thunderous ovation from the standing room only crowd when he announced that he outraised incumbent Republican Senator Ted Cruz in the last fundraising quarter, without the aid of large donations from political action committees.

“To his four-million dollars, we raised 10.4 million,” said O’Rourke. “We are doing this together.

Local officials spoke before O’Rourke to voice support for his candidacy. Those officials included Mayor Capra and Johnson City Chamber of Commerce President Lon Yaeger.

“I’m a lifelong Republican, but supporting [O’Rourke] was an easy choice,” said Yaeger.

Capra said that it is rare to see a high profile politician like O’Rourke in Johnson City and that statewide officials, including Senator Cruz, usually bypass her community.

“Since I have lived here, we have never had a Senator here,” said Capra. “The only time I have heard from Ted Cruz’s office was when he was running for President.”

Joseph Kopser, the Democratic nominee for U.S. Congress in Texas’ 21st Congressional District, spoke directly before O’Rourke. Kopser, an Iraq War veteran, emphasized his credentials as a bipartisan consensus builder.

O’Rourke remarked that Kopser would make an “excellent colleague” in the U.S. Congress.

Capra does not know if her city and surrounding Blanco County will turn blue in November but has noticed increased Democratic engagement in the community.

“[O’Rourke and Kopser] will probably get more votes than a Democrat has gotten in Blanco County in years,” said Capra.

News // Beto O'Rourke / Senate / Ted Cruz / Texas