“After feeling ill on Friday, I went to Methodist Hospital in San Antonio where I was diagnosed with a bacterial infection,” O’Rourke said in a statement. “While my symptoms have improved, I will be resting at home in El Paso in accordance with the doctors’ recommendations. I am sorry to have had to postpone events because of this, but promise to be back on the road as soon as I am able,” he added.
He thanked the staff at Methodist Hospital. “The extraordinary team there — from custodians to nurses and doctors — gave me excellent care and attention, including IV antibiotics and rest,” O’Rourke said.
The development comes at a critical point in the Texas gubernatorial contest, as O’Rourke looks to narrow Abbott’s lead in the contest.
The former congressman first shot to national stardom with a near-miss Senate campaign in 2018 against GOP Sen. Ted Cruz. But his failed 2020 Democratic presidential primary run left his national brand badly dented in the eyes of many within the party.
And Republicans argue that many of the positions he took during that run, including advocating for mandatory assault weapon buybacks, will hurt him in Texas.
Still, O’Rourke remains popular among Democrats on his home turf — building a following in Texas much larger than any other Democrat in a generation. In between his campaigns, he remained active, campaigning for state legislative candidates and activating his volunteers when the state’s power grid failed in early 2021.
This story has been updated with additional information.