El Pasoans react to O'Rourke's presidential bid announcement

    El Pasoans react to O'Rourke's presidential bid announcement<p>{/p}

    The political makeup of El Paso is heavily weighted toward the Democratic end of the spectrum.

    But love him or hate him, this week's announcement that former Rep. Beto O'Rourke will be the first ever El Pasoan to run for president has the entire city buzzing.

    "He has my vote, definitely," said Leonel Carrillo. "And if I get the chance to go out and campaign for him, I will do it in a heartbeat. In a minute. In a second."

    While some residents declined to be interviewed due to their distaste for O'Rourke, others made it clear that the city stands to benefit from the Democratic candidate's national profile.

    "I think it will be good for El Paso. He'll put the city more in the spotlight nationally," said Jacob Villanueva. "El Paso is going through a phase where we're growing a lot. Downtown is changing. We're getting a lot of nationwide brands. So I think having people understand that El Paso's not just a border city, and it's much more than that, will be good for El Paso."

    O'Rourke joins a crowded Democratic field with no clear frontrunners, but one thing respondents had in common was a belief in his ability to persevere as a candidate.

    "I've known him through the years, and I think he's going to do a good job," said Jose Mijales.

    O'Rourke's march toward 2020 begins on March 30 with an event in downtown El Paso.

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