Representative Beto O’Rourke (D., Texas) spoke with liberal activist Al Sharpton on Friday to set up a meeting in the coming weeks as he considers mounting a 2020 presidential run, Buzzfeed News reported early Monday.
O’Rourke, who rose to national prominence via an ultimately unsuccessful but competitive midterm challenge to incumbent Republican senator Ted Cruz this year, maintained that he was not interested in the presidency while campaigning, but admitted during a recent town hall that he was open to the possibility of launching a 2020 campaign.
Sharpton — a veteran liberal activist whose support has proven integral to up-and-coming Democrats in recent years — “agreed to meet within the next couple of weeks” with O’Rourke during their Friday call, according to his spokeswoman.
O’Rourke met with President Obama in mid November and, two weeks later, received a glowing endorsement from Dan Pfeiffer, a former Obama aide and co-host of the liberal political podcast Pod Save America.
O’Rourke’s presidential prospects were bolstered last week when former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick, who previously appeared likely to receive endorsements from Obama and his inner-circle, announced he would not run in 2020.