Win or lose, Texas Democrats have not had a candidate like Beto O’Rourke for at least as long as this has been a reliably Republican state.
“Nobody’s had a candidate like this,” said Sharon Kremer, a 64-year-old retired teacher from Denton who was among the throng of several hundred who filled the historic Santa Fe Depot in Gainesville to overflowing to see the Democratic congressman from El Paso who is challenging Republican incumbent Ted Cruz for the U.S. Senate. With the visit Saturday, Rourke completed his 14-month trek that took him to each of Texas’ 254 counties.
Kremer had seen O’Rourke before, the first time at a Denton bar with food trucks called Backyard on Bell.
“When I saw Beto walk into Backyard on Bell, I viscerally responded and thought, ‘This is the Barack Obama I saw in Chicago; this is the Jack Kennedy I remember watching on television,’” Kremer said.