Beto O’Rourke forced to hit pause on campaign vs. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott

Beto O’Rourke has paused his campaign against Republican incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott due to a bacterial infection diagnosed last week.

The Democrat is recovering at home in El Paso, taking himself off the campaign trail with the November election two months away.

Texas Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke speaking to a crowd of supporters at a campaign rally.
Texas Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke speaking to a crowd of supporters at a campaign rally.

“After feeling ill on Friday, I went to Methodist Hospital in San Antonio where I was diagnosed with a bacterial infection​,” the former congressman and presidential candidate announced Sunday on his Twitter account, adding that he is receiving antibiotics and has been ordered by doctors to rest. 

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

“I am sorry to have had to postpone events because of this, but promise to be back on the road with you as soon as I am able,” the Lone Star State candidate said in a posting offering no timeline for when he’ll return to the stump.

The 49-year-old left a book signing in San Antonio early because of the illness, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times reported. 

He also postponed rallies in San Antonio and Corpus Christi over the weekend. 

The illness will also interrupt a 49-day tour O’Rourke launched in July with 70 events planned as the campaign intended to visit 65 counties.  

O’Rourke, a former congressman who ran an unsuccessful campaign in 2018 to defeat GOP Sen. Ted Cruz, is trying to prevent Abbott from winning a third term as governor. 

The most recent polls show Abbott leading by about 7 percentage points — down from double digits a few months ago. 

While O’Rourke has been hammering Abbott on the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade and gun control measures in the wake of the Uvalde mass shooting in May, the incumbent governor has been engaged in a standoff with New York Mayor Eric Adams over immigration. 

An image of Beto O'Rourke.
Beto O’Rourke is taking a break from his campaign due to a bacterial infection.

Abbott, whose state has been overwhelmed by the influx of migrants crossing the border under President Biden’s more lenient immigration policies, has been shipping busloads of migrants to the Big Apple to make the point to Democrat-led cities. 

The increase in migrants arriving in New York is taxing city services that are already struggling to keep up with high numbers of homeless. 

City Hall has estimated that more than 6,000 asylum-seekers have come to the city since May.

Adams has reached out to the federal government for help in the midst of the crisis as the city struggles to house the sheer volume of migrants arriving, including at a Times Square hotel. 

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas.

As buses full of migrants continue to pour into the city from Texas, the situation has sparked a war of words between Abbott and Adams. 

The Texas governor accused Adams of being hypocritical and all talk about his claims of New York being a sanctuary city when directly confronted by the sheer number of migrants. 

“Adams talked the talk about being a sanctuary city — welcoming illegal immigrants into the Big Apple with warm hospitality. Talk is cheap. When pressed into fulfilling such ill-considered policies, he wants to condemn anyone who is pressing him to walk the walk,” Abbott wrote in an op-ed published last week in The Post. 

City Hall responded by saying Abbott should consult a dictionary before making such accusations.

“Someone get this man a dictionary,” mayoral press secretary Fabien Levy said in a statement.​ ​“‘Hypocrisy’ is claiming you love America and then decrying the words on the Statue of Liberty.” 


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