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Beto O’Rourke: ‘the loss is bitter’

November 12, 2018

Defeated U.S. Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke didn’t offer any concrete steps about what his next move will be, but told supporters in an email late Sunday that he intends to be “be part of the best way forward for this country.”

O’Rourke made clear he is certain, though, about one immediate goal: “For the time being, I am going to focus on being a better dad to our kids who have not had much of one for the last 22 months,” O’Rourke said.

O’Rourke used much of his nearly 1,000-word email to thank supporters for their efforts.

“I am grateful that you gave me a chance to be part of this,” O’Rourke said. “I feel responsible to you, to our country, to my kids and to my conscience to make sure that we continue to find a way to respond to the urgency that we still feel. It didn’t go away Tuesday night.”

Still there is clearly a sting in the loss.

“The loss is bitter, and I don’t know that I’ve been able to fully understand it,” O’Rourke wrote. “I try not to ask what I could have done differently because I don’t know that there is an end to those questions or thoughts. There are a million different decisions I could have made, paths I could have taken, things I could have said or not said, said better or differently. I did my best, everyone did. For our democracy to work, for us to be able to continue to work together, it’s important to be at peace with the outcome.”

O’Rourke turned a U.S. Senate race few thought would be very competitive a year ago into one of the most closely fought contests in the nation. Using a social-media-driven campaign, O’Rourke refused political action committee money, but still set fundraising records. He made it a priority to visit all 254 counties in Texas, a time-consuming exercise that political analysts doubted would pay off.

While O’Rourke lost, he succeeded in giving the Democrats their best showing in a U.S. Senate race in Texas since the 1980s.

According to the most up-to-date unofficial results, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz beat O’Rourke by just 219,427 votes for a margin of 2.6 percentage points.

“Grateful to you for being a part of this, for giving me a chance to be a part of this,” O’Rourke said at the close of his email. “See you down the road.”

jeremy.wallace@chron.com

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