Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke came to Flint this week with a message of safe water for all.
“This is a crisis in our country right now and our administration will spend whatever it takes to meet it,” he promised, stating the issue was a matter of public health.
The former U.S. representative met with Flint Mayor Karen Weaver, stating afterwards she had assured him that lead waterlines to private homes in Flint would be replaced by the fall.
More than 200 people attended the town hall at the Ferris Wheel Building downtown on Wednesday, and they brought questions with them.
Audience issues included creativity in education, LGBTQ protections, keeping Flint’s crisis in the national spotlight, and learning about O’Rourke’s plans for the city.
“I want to make sure this country has your back so that you can deliver the best possible instruction and care for our kids and the future of this great nation,” he said to concerned teachers in the crowd.
The Texan’s campaign website boasts of transparency with posted tax returns, and reaches out to Hispanic voters with an “en Espanol” web page.
His political record includes service on the El Paso City Council and three terms as a congressman, where he received assignments on the Armed Services and Veterans Affairs committees.
Campaigning on “No PAC money” in 2018, O’Rourke narrowly lost a challenge to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).
O’Rourke’s presidential campaign has been enlivened by jabs between the two, most recently when O’Rourke jokingly wondered where Cruz was when he needed him and getting the reply from Cruz: “… in the Senate.”
O’Rourke and his wife Amy have three children.
The couple rounded out their time in Michigan this week by bringing spaghetti fixings and a chocolate cake to dinner with a Flint family. The family’s home water supply is reported to still be unusable.
— Susie Draper (@susiedrapes) July 24, 2019
O’Rourke is polling at one percent, in sixth place or below in the Democratic primary field.
Leaving Flint, he tweeted:
Truly inspired by everyone I met in Flint—a community that has never quit and never become hopeless, but has instead come together to build a brighter future. Grateful for the welcome, the ideas, and the conversations. I believe in Flint, and Flint makes me believe in America. pic.twitter.com/UuAwrV8ZHU
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) July 24, 2019
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Abigail Nobel is a reporter for The Michigan Star.
Photo “Beto O’Rouke” by Beto O’Rourke.