Beto O’Rourke teases presidential bid on Vanity Fair cover

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He appeared at the South By Southwest festival last weekend for a screening of the documentary "Running with Beto", but dodged answering whether he planned to run or when he would announce.

The former Texas congressman sent a text message to KTSM Wednesday afternoon confirming the news that he will seek the Democratic presidential nomination.

"I'm really proud of what El Paso did and what El Paso represents", O'Rourke said in the text.

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"I'm a capitalist", O'Rourke told reporters last month.

O'Rourke heads to Iowa amid some signs his popularity there has waned in the past several weeks, as he has publicly deliberated about a run while more than a dozen Democrats leapt into the race.

Speculation on whether he would run for president has been discussed since his Senate loss to Ted Cruz in November. As with his Senate bid, O'Rourke is building his presidential campaign around an aspirational, Barack Obama-esque call to move past partisan politics - heavy on emotional appeal and fueled by the force of his own personality.

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O'Rourke becomes the latest entrant in an already packed Democratic field, highlighted by Sen. "I don't see how we're able to meet any of the fundamental challenges that we have as a country without, in part, harnessing the power of the market".

O'Rourke becomes the 15th Democrat to enter the race to decide who will take on Trump in the general election.

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