Beto O'Rourke
Beto O'Rourke Reuters

Former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke on Wednesday confirmed he would seek the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, Reuters reports.

“I’m really proud of what El Paso did and what El Paso represents,” O’Rourke said in a text to TV station KTSM. “It’s a big part of why I’m running. This city is the best example of this country at its best.”

A formal announcement is expected on Thursday morning from O’Rourke, a 46-year-old former three-term US congressman from West Texas, the television station said.

O’Rourke ran against incumbent Republican Texas Senator Ted Cruz in the November midterm elections, but lost. His political options have been to run for president or for Texas' other Senate seat, held by John Cronyn.

O’Rourke was a heavy underdog when he challenged Cruz in mostly conservative Texas, but he quickly demonstrated an ability to draw capacity crowds and raise money from voters nationwide.

He will join a crowded Democratic primary when he officially joins the race.

Numerous candidates have already announced their intention to challenge President Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election, including Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Amy Klobuchar, Senator Kamala Harris, Senator Cory Booker, and Senator Bernie Sanders.

Another potential candidate is former Vice President Joe Biden, who recently claimed he is the “most qualified” person to serve as president, fueling speculation that he might make a 2020 bid for the White House.

Early opinion polls on the 2020 race have consistently ranked O’Rourke in the top tier of contenders, behind Biden and Sanders, noted Reuters.