Beto O’Rourke named Pritzker Fellow at UChicago’s Institute of Politics

Democrat Robert Francis 'Beto' O’Rourke of Texas now has an appointment as a guest lecturer at the Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago.

His claim to national prominence comes from his three consecutive campaign failures.

Democrat Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke of Texas now has an appointment as a guest lecturer at the Institute of Politics (IOP) at the University of Chicago (UChicago).

For its Pritzker Fellows program, the IOP each quarter introduces a new “cohort of domestic and international practitioners – elected officials, journalists, activists, policymakers, diplomats – to campus for deep dives into the most pressing issues of the day."

O’Rourke served on the El Paso City Council from 2005 to 2012 prior to representing the 16th Congressional district of Texas in the US House of Representatives from 2013 to 2019.

His claim to national prominence, however, comes from his three consecutive campaign failures.

[RELATED: Beto O’Rourke supporters can’t name any of his accomplishments]

For the 2018 Midterm election cycle, O’Rourke lost his bid for the US Senate against prominent conservative and incumbent senator, Ted Cruz.

For the 2020 Presidential election cycle, O’Rourke abandoned his presidential campaign in November 2019, which lasted only eight months.

And for the 2022 Midterm election cycle, O’Rourke lost his race for Texas Governor to incumbent Republican governor, Greg Abbott.

O’Rourke also published the book "We've Got to Try: How the Fight for Voting Rights Makes Everything Else Possible" in 2022.

The IOP calls O’Rourke “a leading progressive voice nationally” and states that he “will lead seminars using Texas as a case study to explore the present and future of US democracy.”

[RELATED: Beto O’Rourke lands gig at Texas State]

The Winter-Spring 2023 cohort of Pritzker Fellows consists of two journalists and five other politicians.

Discussing state and local governance, the series also includes former Nevada governor Steve Sisolak (D), former Mayor of Shreveport, LA, Adrian Perkins (D), and Alderwoman of Evanston IL, Robin Rue Simmons (D). Aside from O’Rourke, the national politicians include Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) and Peter Meijer (R-MI).

Meijer lost his party’s nomination for Congress in 2019 to a Trump-endorsed Republican, according to his bio on the IOP site.

A non-partisan extracurricular institute, the IOP is “committed to fostering in our students a passion for public service, meaningful dialogue and active engagement in our democracy.”

The directorship of the IOP is currently changing hands from former Obama advisor David Axelrod, who founded the IOP in 2013, to the former Democratic US Senator from North Dakota, Heidi Heitkamp. Heitkamp officially joined the IOP as of January 3, 2023.

Campus Reform has reached out to O’Rourke and to the IOP and will update this story accordingly.

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