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Beto O’Rourke says he doesn’t regret passing on 2020 Senate run

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2020 Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke told INSIDER he’s “convinced” a Democrat will win a Senate seat in Texas next year and that his own unsuccessful 2018 Senate bid paved the way for it.

O’Rourke mentioned MJ Hegar, a Navy combat veteran who came close to winning a red congressional seat in Texas last year, who last month announced her bid to unseat Texas Sen. John Cornyn in 2020.

O’Rourke said his supporters “have helped Texas transition from a state that was a non-voting state to a state that is going to be fully represented in every state-wide and every national election, including the election for Senate where MJ Hegar, or whoever the nominee is, I’m convinced will be successful against John Cornyn.”

He added, “But also in the presidential election, where those 38 Electoral College votes are now unlocked and which I think our campaign, perhaps more than any other, can lay claim to being able to win.”

Read more: Beto O’Rourke held a ‘running rally’ through Manhattan, and we had to bike to keep up

But a recent Quinnipiac University poll found that a whopping 60% of Texas Democrats want O’Rourke to end his presidential bid and instead run for Senate against Cornyn. Just 27% said they want O’Rourke to continue his presidential campaign.

O’Rourke made the comments at an early morning “running rally” on Wednesday in New York City.

O’Rourke led about 50 supporters and fellow joggers up the Hudson River greenway on Manhattan’s West side as part of his Pride month campaigning.

Wednesday marked the three-year anniversary of the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida— a fact O’Rourke noted multiple times throughout the morning.

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