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Beto heading to Wisconsin and Illinois as 2020 decision nears

POLITICO logo POLITICO 2/15/2019 By David Siders
a man sitting in a car: Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke is leaning toward running for president, according to at least four sources who have spoken to him or his advisers, but he has kept a relatively low profile since leaving Congress earlier this year. © Loren Elliott/Getty Images Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke is leaning toward running for president, according to at least four sources who have spoken to him or his advisers, but he has kept a relatively low profile since leaving Congress earlier this year.

Beto O’Rourke is hitting the road again, this time for the Midwest.

Following a massive rally in his hometown of El Paso, Texas on Monday, the former Texas congressman and potential presidential candidate will visit with students at University of Wisconsin, Madison on Friday. He will then travel to Chicago, where he will address a national conference of the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute on Saturday. Julián Castro, who has already declared for president, is also scheduled to speak at that event.

O'Rourke's meeting with students is closed to the press, a spokesman confirmed.

Wisconsin has become a top priority for Democrats after President Donald Trump in 2016 became the first Republican presidential candidate to carry the state since 1984.

The events mark O’Rourke’s first public steps outside of Texas since a solo road trip that drew widespread attention throughout the Southwest. The visits come as O’Rourke edges closer to a presidential campaign. He has said he will make a decision about entering the race by the end of the month.

O’Rourke is scheduled to return home by next week to accept an award on Tuesday from El Paso Inc. for “El Pasoan of the Year.”

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