The addition of O'Rourke makes a crowded Democratic field even more crowded, and it will be fascinating to see if he can find a constituency, and where it will come from.
O'Rourke, a former punk musician who sometimes went skateboarding to blow off steam on the Texas campaign trail, may quickly achieve rockstar status if he runs.
"We can free ourselves from the distinction of being the country that imprisons more of its fellow citizens than any other country on the face of the planet", O'Rourke said.
"In Texas, we have a problem with broadband in rural communities", O'Rourke said. He rose to superstardom within the Democratic Party in 2018, raising $80 million and building a national following during his close loss to Republican Sen.
Beto O'Rourke has begun campaigning in his 2020 presidential bid with his first trip to Iowa.
Also teasing at a 2020 presidential campaign is former Vice President Joe Biden, who met with former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams on Thursday.
His initial challenge in the Democratic presidential race will be to distinguish himself from candidates sharing his positions on key progressive issues, such as universal health care and refusing donations from corporate political action committees.
The White House run will also prompt greater scrutiny of his policy proposals and track record in Congress.
It wasn't the first time O'Rourke generated national attention for taking on Trump.
"I think he has got a lot of hand movement, I've never seen so much hand movement", Mr. Trump told reporters.
O'Rourke soared to national prominence during his race past year against Sen.