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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Curious voters, undecideds met and greeted Beto in Williamsburg

At least 200 people stood in line outside the College of William & Mary’s Trinkle Hall Tuesday, waiting for a red ticket and a chance to see Beto O’Rourke.

Amy and Brian Banks, both Williamsburg residents, said they got there at 12:30 p.m. The meet-and-greet was scheduled for 2 p.m.

“I think we definitely need a change in Washington for the better,” Brian Banks said.

While he seemed more passionate about his support for O’Rourke, Amy on the other hand was looking to see what O’Rourke had to offer about other candidates.

“I’m just looking to see what is around,” she said.

O’Rourke made his rounds on the East Coast Tuesday as part of his presidential campaign.

Andrea Alvardo, a William and Mary student interested in kinesiology with a concentration in public health, is also torn about O’Rourke because she likes Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders, too.

“As a Latina, his approach to the Latino community seems very genuine,” she said.

The daughter of El Salvador immigrants, she was hoping to ask O’Rourke if he planned on creating a path for parents of DACA recipients.

“I have a cousin ––– she wanted to go to college but can’t because she can’t get federal aid,” she said. “I just wish people were more aware of the hard life immigrants go through.”

Unfortunately, she didn’t get the chance to ask the question.

After he was introduced by Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Norfolk, around 2:15 p.m., the Texas Democrat was met with cheers and applause.

The event, hosted by the college’s Young Democrats, was arranged a little more than a week ago.

O’Rourke spoke for approximately 20 minutes about health care services for veterans, reproductive rights for women, immigration and of course, President Donald Trump.

“He is hateful, he is racist and he encourages the worst tendencies in every fellow American,” O’Rourke told the crowd.

O’Rourke took five questions from the audience, including one regarding whether he would refuse to take “PAC” money or any donations from fossil fuel and oil companies.

“Yeah,” he said, before elaborating he would take individual donations from workers from those companies.

“I want to bring every single American together,” O’Rourke said.

Around 3 p.m. he waved to the crowd before heading out of the room and into the hallway, where he posed for pictures with his supporters.

Tim Murphy, 65, a retired state and federal prosecutor from James City County, threw off his hat before he posed with O’Rourke.

“He reminds me of Robert Kennedy,” he said. “It’s clear that the William & Mary women are crazy for Beto.”

O’Rourke officially announced his campaign at his hometown of El Paso, Texas on March 30, according to his campaign’s announcement.

O’Rourke served on the El Paso City Council from 2005 to 2011. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012 after defeating incumbent Silvestre Reyes in a Democratic primary.

Instead of seeking re-election in 2018, he ran for U.S. Senate and was narrowly defeated by Republican incumbent Senator Ted Cruz.

Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She covers everything on the Peninsula from local government and law enforcement agencies to family-run businesses and weather updates. Before WYDaily, she covered Hampton and Newport News for WYDaily’s sister publication, HNNDaily before both publications merged in December 2018. Julia was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Long Island, New York in 2001. A true New Yorker, she loves pizza, bagels and good Chinese food. Send comments, tips and other tidbits to You can follow her on Twitter at @jmarsigliano

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