It was the third high-profile loss for O'Rourke who was making his third run for office in four years. He narrowly lost the U.S. Senate race in 2018 to Ted Cruz, and withdrew from the Democratic presidential primary in 2020.
O'Rourke held a watch party in his hometown of El Paso Tuesday night. He was always an underdog in the race for governor but many say he brought hope to Texans who are tired of Republican leadership.
"I have three children and I think that the gun laws that we have right now are not okay. My children’s lives are at stake. I’m nervous to send them to school and I shouldn’t have to feel like that," said El Paso resident Savannah Gibbons.
"He’s empowered so many people to vote and use their voice and be proud of where they’re from, and I know I am," said another El Paso resident Valeria Duenas.
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Many supporters who have followed him throughout his political career were disappointed when Greg Abbott won his third term as governor.
O'Rourke spent much of his concession speech encouraging and thanking the crowd.
He said, "At a time when we could be tempted to give in or to give up we all decided instead to give it our all and that’s what I think distinguishes us – everything we could possibly give to this we gave to this."
He also hinted at continued work in the future, a sentiment echoed by his supporters.
"I’m going to continue to fight the good fight because I have future generations I’m raising that deserve to see that," Gibbons said.
"I'm feeling disappointed but at the end of the day I'm feeling empowered," Duenas added. "If we don’t turn Texas blue now, it’s going to be blue someday, and it’s going to be because of him."
In his speech, O'Rourke said he's not sure what his future holds, but he's not giving up.
"I don’t know what my role or yours will be going forward, but I’m in this fight for life. I’m in this with you."
The Texas gubernatorial race was one of the most expensive midterm races in the country.
Both candidates spent more than $100 million in the race.