Beto O’Rourke announced 2020 presidential bid

KEOKUK, Iowa (NBC) – Beto O’Rourke traveled to rural southeast Iowa to kick off his long-anticipated campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The former congressman brought the style and message of unity that made him a national political star during his close loss to Ted Cruz in the Texas Senate race.

He’s focusing initially on meeting voters in smaller venues, beginning Thursday morning at a coffee shop, then a closed meeting with a high school government class.

O’Rourke is pledging a positive campaign and emphasizing the importance of unifying behind

“This setting right now,” O’Rourke said, “the very first event of our campaign for president, is an example not only of the way that I wish to campaign across this country for every single American, and I could care less your party persuasion,  your religion, anything other than the fact that we are all Americans and we are all human beings and we do everything within our power for one another, for this great country, and for every generation that follows. This is democracy.”

O’Rourke told reporters he waited longer than several other Democrats to announce his run so he could spend extended time with his family after years of serving in Congress.

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