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Beto O’Rourke ill with bacterial infection, postpones campaign events


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Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic candidate for Texas governor, postponed campaign events in his whirlwind tour across the state after he was diagnosed with a bacterial infection, he said Sunday.

“After feeling ill on Friday, I went to Methodist Hospital in San Antonio where I was diagnosed with a bacterial infection,” O’Rourke said on Twitter.

He said he received IV antibiotics and would be resting at home in El Paso “in accordance with the doctors’ recommendations.”

He said he was “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.”

His campaign did not immediately respond to a request for further comment.

Beto O’Rourke’s risky quest for votes in deep-red Texas

O’Rourke is running against Gov. Greg Abbott (R) in the November election. He ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate in 2018, though he was within a few percentage points of Sen. Ted Cruz (R). That race propelled O’Rourke to the national political stage and an unsuccessful campaign for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. He previously represented El Paso in the U.S. House.

The two campaigns put O’Rourke on the record on various positions including abortion and gun rights — particularly tense topics in Texas, where gun ownership is among the highest in the country. He lags Abbott in recent polls by multiple percentage points outside the margins of error.

O’Rourke’s illness comes at the tail end of his “Drive for Texas,” a 49-day tour in a Toyota pickup truck with 70 events across more than 65 counties. A video from an earlier stop on the tour, in Mineral Wells, went viral after O’Rourke confronted a heckler during his speech about the school shooting in Uvalde, Tex. Gun control has been a staple of his platform to defeat Abbott.

O’Rourke’s campaign events from Thursday last week to Sunday will be rescheduled, according to his website. The last campaign event before he fell ill was in Fort Bend County, outside Houston, according to the website. The final event of the tour is set for Sept. 7.

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