- Presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke’s estimated net worth is in the millions.
- His campaign raised more than $6 million within 24 hours of announcing his run for president.
- O’Rourke’s salary as a congressman was $174,000.
Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke touts himself as a man of the people, wearing button-up shirts and jeans on the campaign trail. But the reality is that O’Rourke’s net worth — which is estimated to be in the millions — places him in a different tax bracket than the average Joe that he wants to represent. And while O’Rourke enjoyed a good amount of popularity during the 2018 midterm elections, he also faced scrutiny due to his considerable personal wealth.
Polling data from RealClearPolitics shows O’Rourke somewhere near the middle of the pack, but nowhere near popular candidates like former Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Biden is polling at 32%, Sanders at 16.2%, Warren at 14% — while O’Rourke’s popularity is at 2.8%, according to RealClearPolitics’ average of polls from July 21 to July 29.
Despite suffering a close-call defeat at the hands of incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, during the 2018 midterms, O’Rourke announced his bid for the 2020 presidential election on March 14. Twenty-four hours later, the former representative from Texas had raised $6.1 million for his campaign, CNBC reported. For comparison, Sanders raised just under $6 million within 24 hours of announcing his candidacy. O’Rourke might have a penchant for fundraising, but it’s worth remembering he also raised millions in the 2018 midterms and still lost to Cruz.
GOBankingRates took a deeper dive into O’Rourke’s life and the former congressman’s — and now presidential hopeful’s — personal finances.
Birthdate: Sept. 26, 1972
Net worth: $3.42 million to $16.36 million
Primary source of income: Real estate
Career highlight: U.S. congressman, 2013-2019
Beto O’Rourke’s Net Worth: $3.42 Million to $16.36 Million
Before his unusual nickname caught the attention of the country (his full name is Robert Francis O’Rourke), the fourth-generation Texan graduated from Columbia University and returned to his hometown of El Paso, Texas, to launch a technology company.
O’Rourke’s salary as a public servant in Congress was $174,000. His net worth is estimated to be between $3,422,030 and $16,356,001, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which obtained his financial disclosure report filed in May 2019. O’Rourke’s wealth comes in part from between $100,001 to $1 million in rental income, according to the report. The Center previously estimated that O’Rourke’s fortune stood at $8.95 million in 2015, positioning him at the time as the 52nd wealthiest member of the House.
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O’Rourke and Cruz differed politically, but personally the two made major financial leaps in marrying women whose family fortunes far exceeded their own. O’Rourke’s wife, Amy Sanders, is the daughter of a Texas real estate tycoon. Sanders lives on a trust fund that is reportedly worth between just over $1 million and $5 million, according to O’Rourke’s financial disclosure report. Cruz’s wife, Heidi, is a managing director at Goldman Sachs.
O’Rourke didn’t make any personal contributions to finance his Senate bid. His run survived on donations that totaled over $69 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Among the top contributions were six-figure donations from the University of Texas; Google’s parent company, Alphabet; and J Street, a nonprofit advocacy group committed to supporting Israel.
Beto O’Rourke’s Platform
O’Rourke hails from El Paso, Texas, which he called “today’s Ellis Island” in a CNN op-ed because it’s the “place where millions of people who become Americans first step foot in our country.” His loyalty to El Paso is ingrained into one of his most prominent campaign platforms: Immigration. O’Rourke calls for immigration and naturalization reform in the hope of simplifying the process of becoming an American citizen. According to his campaign website, on day one of his presidency, he would use executive authority to reunite immigrant families with their children, rescind travel bans and support “Dreamers.”
While immigration is one of the main issues in O’Rourke’s platform, he considers climate change to be the greatest threat to the future of America. He told NPR that the U.S. needed a climate strategy as ambitious as President John F. Kennedy’s mission to land men on the moon. And according to his campaign website, he intends to spend $5 trillion over 10 years on a plan that requires net-zero emissions by 2050.
“We’re going to invest in the technologies that will allow us to lead the world on this. It should be happening right here in the United States,” he said on the “Morning Edition” program.
Other issues that O’Rourke is running on include protecting and expanding LGBTQ+ equality, reproductive rights and voting rights; investing in small business; and honoring the commitment to the nation’s veterans.
Keep reading to learn how fellow 2020 candidate John Delaney amassed his wealth.
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Erika Giovanetti contributed to the reporting for this article.