Beto O'Rourke further grows Iowa footprint, opening 11 field offices

Texas Tribune News

Democratic 2020 presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke, 46, ran a St. Patrick's Day 5K during a three-day road trip across Iowa.
Democratic 2020 presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke, 46, ran a St. Patrick’s Day 5K during a three-day road trip across Iowa.
REUTERS/Ben Brewer

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke is dramatically expanding his presence in Iowa as the first early voting state looks increasingly crucial to his 2020 prospects.

The former congressman’s campaign announced Monday afternoon it is opening 11 field offices across Iowa, giving it one of the larger footprints in the state among White House hopefuls. The campaign also rolled out 22 endorsements from activists throughout Iowa.

“We’re growing our movement throughout the summer, so that every Iowan, regardless if they have caucused or not and regardless of whether they’re a Democrat, Republican, or wants to put country over party, knows they’re in the right place with Team Beto,” O’Rourke’s Iowa state director, Norm Sterzenbach, said in a statement.

While O’Rourke’s campaign has been making investments in the other early voting states, O’Rourke has prioritized Iowa, making more trips and hiring more people there than anywhere else. He had his sixth visit earlier this month, bringing along his family for the first time, and he is up to 44 staffers on the ground.

O’Rourke’s campaign also appears to be taking seriously his home state, which holds its primary on Super Tuesday, or March 3. O’Rourke is scheduled to open his first field office in Texas on Wednesday in his hometown of El Paso.

The two states — Iowa and Texas — could prove critical for O’Rourke down the line as he looks for a path in the crowded 2020 field. He’s remained in the low single digits in Iowa polls while leading or trailing only former Vice President Joe Biden in the few Texas surveys that have come out so far.

O’Rourke’s field offices in Iowa will all be up and running by the end of the week. They will be in Ames, Burlington, Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Des Moines, Dubuque, Iowa City, Ottumwa, Sioux City and Waterloo.