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'Democracy is under attack in Texas' | Former congressman Beto O’Rourke speaks ahead of voting rights rally

The last stop of O'Rourke’s tour will be at the state Capitol. He shared his priorities, his solutions for the border and addressed his possible bid for governor.

SAN ANTONIO — The last stop of Former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke’s tour across Texas will be at the state Capitol. He’ll be hosting a rally to advocate for voting rights. O’Rourke shared his priorities, his solutions for the border and addressed his possible bid for Governor with KENS 5.

The “For the People Rally” will be held at the Texas Capitol Sunday at 5:30 p.m. Texans are invited to join former congressman O’Rourke, other elected officials, and voting rights advocates for the event. O’Rourke has been visiting towns and cities across the state to push for the “For the People Act,” a federal voting rights expansion bill. It expands voter registration, voter access, and would restore the rights of felons to vote.

KENS 5 spoke with the former congressman about his crusade to expand voting rights on the state and federal levels. He said democracy is under attack in Texas, referring to the state’s Senate Bill 7. The bill would limit vote-by-mail rules, early voting hours, and drive-thru voting. Back in May, democrats walked off the House floor in a last-ditch effort to block the bill before the deadline. Governor Greg Abbott said the piece of legislation will be on the agenda during a special session in the future.

“So those of us who care about this democracy and voting rights, need to rally and save them. So we’re asking folks to make the trip to Austin,” said O’Rourke. “We’re going to hear from the great state representatives who walked out at the end of the regular session to stop voter suppression in Texas. And we’re going to make sure our voices are heard by those lawmakers in Austin. But also the U.S. Senators in the United States Capitol who have the chance to pass voting rights legislation right now.”

As for the migrant surge at the border, O’Rourke says he wants to see President Joe Biden make it more of a priority. He added that federal resources need to be funneled to the border communities immediately.

“I want him to listen to those ranches, to those border patrol agents, and to the mayors of cities like Eagle Pass and Del Rio who are living this and understand it better than anyone else,” he said. “I would like him to propose federal legislation that would address this, both through rewriting our immigration laws so there is a legal manageable pathway for folks to reunite with their family.”

KENS 5 asked the former congressman about his bid for governor and he didn’t dismiss the possibility. Instead, he said his primary focus is on voting rights.

“If we can see this through, I will then consider what way I can serve this state best. That might be as a candidate for office. It might be supporting great candidates for office. It might be registering voters but one way or another, it will be a public service to Texas, whether in office or without a title. But I’m in for the distance for Texas,” he said.