BETO O'ROURKE CAMPAIGN Running for United States Senate representing Texas

On November 8, 2017 my wife introduced me to Beto O'Rourke. She had never met him but had shared some things that got me intrigued. Beto is a congressman from El Paso, Texas who is running for the United States Senate. She told me that O'Rourke, a democrat, and Will Hurd, a republican also from Texas, were unable to get flights to vote in D.C. so they decided to make the 1,600 mile trip together in a Chevy Impala. They turned the trip in to a 1,600 mile bipartisan town hall meeting utilizing Facebook live answering questions from viewers both democrat and republican along the way.

Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas addresses the crowd during a town hall meeting at the Columbus RV Park and Campground in Columbus, TX.

Congressman O'Rourke has taken this concept on his own campaign trail for Senate. He truly believes in meeting the people where they are regardless whether or not they are republican or democrat. Democracy the way it should work. It isn't always about what you believe but who you represent and how you can care for the majority of people and not just the few. O'Rourke is running his campaign the right way, he is not taking PAC (Political Action Committee) money or money from corporations. The congressman wants to represent the people not big donors and corporations. Again the way democracy should work. Over the last several months O'Rourke has been driving county to county meeting the people of the state of Texas where they are and holding town hall meetings in all 254 counties and this is along with maintaining his schedule in Washington.

Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas listens to a question from a supporter during a town hall meeting at the Levine Park Pavilion in Sealy, TX.

Besides assisting in a small local campaign here in Katy I have never been a part of politics, however, as a former history teacher and someone who has always been very interested in politics I was intrigued with Beto and wanted to see him for myself. Not only did I want to see him I wanted to do something for his campaign. I have seen a lot of things happening in our country and am tired of sitting in the wings just watching. On December 17, 2017 I grabbed my camera and I headed to Sealy, Texas to see what Beto O'Rourke was all about and capture his campaign in photos. I came home inspired and I told my wife "what I love about Beto is he is authentic and real." He fielded unfiltered questions from residents and answered them truthfully and honestly even if it didn't please everyone in the crowd. Following the town hall in Sealy Beto headed to Columbus (about 30 minutes down the road) for another town hall where I followed to capture more of what I believe to be a historical campaign.

A resident asks Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas a question during a town hall meeting at the Columbus RV Park and Campground in Columbus, TX.

Congressman O'Rourke listened to people just like you and I who asked him questions on health care, immigration, the state of our country, net neutrality, veterans affairs, and much more. He continued to answer questions and listen to stories of people who had deep concerns. Afterwards he took time to meet with everyone that stayed to get a photo and possibly answer questions that he wasn't able to address in the large crowd. At the end of his time in Columbus the congressman approached me and introduced himself asking who I was with. I told him I was with him and would like to be a part of the campaign when he is in the area and my gift was taking photos. He was thrilled to have me and even more excited to have me as a part of the campaign when he saw some of the photos I took the later that day when I sent them to the campaign.

Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas takes photos and speaks with people in Houston and the surrounding area.

Weeks later after the town halls in Sealy and Columbus Beto returned to Houston for a town hall at The West End in the Galleria area. The place was packed and the energy in the room was amazing. It was a complete thrill to see the excitement and to be a part of it. The idea that I was getting to photograph history was a thrill in itself but the fact that I was doing something that was bigger than anything I have ever done before was exciting.

Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas arrives during the Beers with Beto event at The West End in Houston, TX.

Over the past month I have learned that it is easy to sit in the wings and talk about doing something for the betterment of your community, country, or world. It is another thing to do it. While I consider myself a sports photographer the two things that I have done in my time as a photographer that have the most meaning to me is capturing the story of the flooding from Hurricane Harvey and following the Beto O'Rourke campaign. While I love sports photography I want to use my talents and be involved in something that is bigger than anything I have ever done and I am excited to see how this campaign turns out and grateful to be a part of it.

If you are interested in more information on Beto O'Rourke visit his website at betofortexas.com and get involved. I can't wait to see where the O'Rourke campaign goes and am looking forward to being there for its victory on November 6th.


John Glaser

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