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San Antonio Current

High-profile Texas Democrat O'Rourke entering academia after three failed political campaigns

By Michael Karlis,

Since 2018, O'Rourke has lost bids for the U.S. Senate, the presidency, and most recently, to serve as governor of Texas.
After a trio of failed but headline-grabbing political campaigns, Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke has accepted an academic fellowship at the University of Chicago, the Express-News reports .

It’s unclear whether the former El Paso congressman will return to politics. But, for the time being, he'll be teaching at the university as a Pritzker fellow. In that role, he'll lead seminars using Texas as a case study to explore the present and future state of democracy in the U.S., according to the daily.

O'Rourke was catapulted into the national spotlight with a near-miss 2018 campaign to represent Texas in the U.S. Senate. However, his political brand was tarnished by a lackluster run for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, and this year he lost a race to unseat Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, the Republican incumbent.

O’Rourke’s new gig in Illinois won’t be his first time lecturing to college students, though. He previously taught a politics class at Texas State University and a graduate-level class on democracy at UT Austin in 2021, according to the Express-News.

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