Beto O’Rourke’s advisers have begun speaking to Democratic political strategists about positions in a national campaign as the former Texas congressman promises to announce a decision on a 2020 presidential run soon.
Mr O’Rourke’s team is having early, formal staffing discussions, according to sources.
The development comes a day after Mr O’Rourke announced he had made a 2020 decision and would let everyone know his plans “soon”.
Those close to Mr O’Rourke have said for weeks that they are not sure how he will divulge his intentions, whether by holding a rally or formal event, using online communications, making a television appearance or doing it some other way.
As recently as last week, Mr O’Rourke suggested he was still deciding how to “best serve our country” and would not rule out a presidential run, agreeing to be a vice presidential candidate for another 2020 Democratic hopeful or challenging US Senator John Cornyn, who is up for re-election in 2020.
But Mr O’Rourke’s camp says running for Senate again was not ever very likely.
Mr O’Rourke raised 80-plus million dollars from donors nationwide while losing to Mr Cruz by fewer than three percentage points in Texas, where a Democrat has not won statewide office in 25 years.
He began that race largely unknown outside his native El Paso and looking like a prohibitive long shot, but became a national star in Democratic circles for an optimistic, high-energy campaign and a compelling backstory that included a stint as a punk-rock guitarist while in college.
Although the list of Democrats looking to deny President Donald Trump re-election is already long, an O’Rourke campaign could shake up the field.