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O'Rourke, a 46-year-old former three-term United States representative from West Texas, made the announcement online. "'Whether you meant it or not, I take that as a compliment, ' he says". "I think it's important to have people that are running from different parts of the country". "This city is the best example of this country at its best".

The 46-year-old Democrat confirmed to local station KTSM that he is seeking his party's nomination for the 2020 presidential race, and will make the announcement Thursday morning, the television broadcaster in O'Rourke's home town of El Paso reported. O'Rourke has Irish and Welsh ancestry.

Democratic Senate leaders courted O'Rourke aggressively for that race. He was an underdog when he challenged Cruz, a Republican in the mostly conservative state, but he quickly demonstrated an ability to draw capacity crowds and raise money from voters nationwide. He also ran a campaign staffed by volunteers instead of political professionals. Voters in the Lone Star State haven't elected a Democrat to the Senate in roughly three decades.

When asked about O'Rourke's entrance into the presidential race this morning, President Trump referred to O'Rourke's energetic hand movements in his announcement video and asked, "Is he insane or is that just the way he acts?" If I were to run, if I were to win, that my administration looks like this country.

Mirroring his unsuccessful campaign model, O'Rourke embarked on a solo road trip in January to meet voters, where he had been chronicling the trip on social media and raising some eyebrows with freakish antics such as a Instagram live stream from his dental hygienist's chair.

Since his Senate bid ended, O'Rourke has worked to keep himself in the public eye, regularly staying in touch with his supporters and sitting for an interview with Oprah Winfrey. He took a solo road trip through the Southwest earlier this year, documenting his travels in a series of Medium posts reminiscent of Jack Kerouac. He visited with students in the key swing state of Wisconsin. Trump doesn't seem to have a solid grasp on O'Rourke yet, while he's branded Elizabeth Warren as "Pocahontas" and Bernie Sanders as "crazy", O'Rourke is largely a new character for him.

O'Rourke is holding a Texas kickoff of his presidential campaign March 30 in El Paso.

It wasn't the first time O'Rourke generated national attention for taking on Trump.