O’Rourke Off Campaign Trail after “Bacterial Infection”


Robert "Beto" O'Rourke | Image by NBC

Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate for Texas, has been sidelined by an unspecified bacterial infection, his office announced on Sunday.

The former House representative and 2016 presidential candidate had been physically traveling across the Lone Star State, but his campaign stated that O’Rourke will have to switch to virtual events exclusively as he continues his recovery.

“After feeling ill on Friday, I went to Methodist Hospital in San Antonio where I was diagnosed with a bacterial infection,” O’Rourke wrote in a tweet. “The extraordinary team there — from custodians to nurses and doctors — gave me excellent care and attention, including IV antibiotics and rest.”

Later, O’Rourke added, “While my symptoms have improved, I will be resting at home in El Paso in accordance with the doctors’ recommendations.”

Although he did not provide any additional specifics, O’Rourke promised his supporters that he would be back on the campaign trail “as soon as [he is] able.”

Before falling ill, O’Rourke was in the middle of a 49-day-long campaign junket of some 70 events booked over 5,600 miles. Larger events, such as those he had planned for San Antonio, Pearsall, Three Rivers, Corpus Christi, and Goliad, will be rescheduled.

Recent polls have incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott leading O’Rourke by anywhere between seven and nine points.

Pollster aggregate FiveThirtyEight puts the odds of O’Rourke prevailing at roughly 5%. Were O’Rourke to win, however, he would be the first Democrat elected to statewide office since 1994.

Abbott is expected to spend around $100 million to $150 million on his campaign, while O’Rourke is expected to muster roughly $75 million.

As reported in The Dallas Express, Nexstar Media Group will be hosting the only Texas gubernatorial debate on September 30. It will be held at the University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley Edinburg campus. KXAN Austin’s Britt Moreno is slated to moderate.

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