Beto O’Rouke, U.S. Senate hopeful, stops in Burleson
Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful Beto O’Rouke has been criss-crossing the state on the campaign trail and stopped in Burleson on Saturday. O’Rouke, a native of El Paso, got his start in politics on the El Paso City Council in 2005 and served two terms before running for U.S. Congress in 2012, and winning over an eight-term incumbent. He held a town-hall style meeting at the Old Texas Brewing Company in Old Town where he spoke about issues important to him and why he thought Burleson needed to be the model of choice not just for Texas, but for the entire country.
“I’ve met Mayor Shetter before, but hearing some of the initiatives that the community has taken on, efforts to make sure everybody is getting more education and the Burleson Works Program, the opportunity fund for every senior to be able to afford college is amazing,” O’Rouke said. He was also impressed by the efforts the Burleson City Council has made to protect victims of domestic violence.“That strangulation ordinance is something I think every city in America should have,” O’Rouke said. “These are all things that come up on the trail in other cities in Texas. Folks are looking for federal solutions. It’s really encouraging to see how much Burleson is doing on it’s own.”
One thing O’Rouke is very passionate about is public education. O’Rouke called Burleson’s schools of choice a “wonderful advancement” for public education and he said that it is in everyone’s best interest for people to be able to afford an education.
“It’s great for everyone else who can benefit from what that person can now produce, pay in taxes, the art that they can create, businesses that they can start, people that they can hire,” O’Rouke said. “Burleson gets that and I think the U.S. should follow suit.”
When asked if he thinks he will have trouble connecting with the voters of Tarrant and Johnson counties - who are historically deeply conservative in their voting - O’Rouke said that since he started working in Congress he tries to not allow party differences to divide him and his partnership with Republicans.
“The thing that matters most to me is that we have an opportunity to work together, as Americans and Texans first before we ever think about different parties or other things that could potentially divide us,” O’Rouke said. “We need to come together around issues like those that have been addressed in Burleson.”
Moreover, O’Rouke said that anything he accomplished in Congress, he did with the help of a Republican partner.
“We do not allow parties to divide us from getting work done in this country,” he said.
O’Rouke fielded questions and was approached by a gentleman whose mother is a cancer survivor and has been having a hard time paying for the cancer treatment and the costs involved. O’Rouke was sympathetic to the man and said, unfortunately, this is not an uncommon story he hears while out on the trail.
“These are real hardships,” O’Rouke said. “I’ve talked to people who can’t afford their insulin medication to treat their diabetes. People want to know how we are going to work together, as Republicans and Democrats, so that everyone can afford to see the doctor. People need to be healthy enough to raise their family or pursue an education.”
O’Rouke also received questions about the new tax bill and who exactly benefits from it.
“People want to make sure that we are focusing on cutting taxes to the people who actually need it,” O’Rouke said. “People in the working class, the middle class and those aspiring to be in the middle class need to be the ones who benefit from such a bill.”
O’Rouke left the meeting saying he was impressed with Burleson and will speak of its initiatives while he continues his campaign for Senate.
“I’m proud of what this community is doing,” he said. “I am so grateful for the opportunity to be in Burleson and listen to those I represent.”