Beto O’Rourke said Wednesday he will soon announce his plans on a presidential run, but offered little in terms of details.
At an El Paso event for the local chapter of Moms Demand Action, an anti-gun violence group, he declined to give a date for an official announcement.
“I’m going to be making an announcement soon, and I’m going to be making the same announcement to everyone at the same time and that’s all I can say at this time,” he said.
He wouldn’t define “soon,” and laughed.
Who is running for president?: Here’s a list of the candidates who have declared so far
O’Rourke and Oprah:: Beto O’Rourke tells Oprah he will make 2020 announcement by ‘end of this month’
His comments come after the Dallas Morning News reported he would not challenge Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, for his Senate seat and that he has made a decision about his future plans.
The Morning News cited “numerous people close to O’Rourke,” and suggested that they expected him to announce his presidential campaign within weeks.
O’Rourke, however, would only tell the newspaper that he and his wife, Amy, had made up their minds.
“Amy and I have made a decision about how we can best serve our country,” O’Rourke said. “We are excited to share it with everyone soon.”
O’Rourke’s spokesman confirmed the quote to the El Paso Times.
More: Beto O’Rourke tells Oprah he will decide on 2020 run “before the end of this month”
More: Juárez reacts to President Trump’s El Paso rally with condemnation, indifference
Shortly after the report was released, Cornyn tweeted, “Looks like Schumer couldn’t close the deal.”
Politico reported earlier this month that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer had met with O’Rourke to discuss a Senate run. And at an event in El Paso last week, O’Rourke indicated he might be open to the idea.
With O’Rourke out of the Senate race, a path is clear for U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, to challenge Cornyn. Castro’s twin brother, Julián, has already announced he is running for president and Joaquin is chairing his campaign. Julián Castro was Health and Human Services secretary under President Barack Obama.
O’Rourke’s long-shot bid to unseat the junior senator from Texas, Ted Cruz, boosted O’Rourke’s profile nationally, and he set fund-raising records during the campaign. Even though he lost — by less than 3 percentage points — he was already a front-runner for the Democratic nomination.
The crowded Democratic field already includes a dozen announced candidates, with several others considered likely or possible. But O’Rourke brought renewed interest in a possible presidential bid when he held a counter-rally to President Donald Trump’s campaign event in El Paso.