But tides have changed since he left office in 2019, and the legislation he worked on is far from the political flashpoints dominating today’s election cycle, including issues like guns and reproductive rights that are topping his list of gubernatorial campaign promises.

But O’Rourke called his work on Veterans Affairs his most meaningful in Congress and said that he specifically requested a seat on the committee owing to El Paso’s large veteran population. He co-led the Economic Opportunity Subcommittee with U.S. Rep. Jodey Arrington, R-Lubbock, and the pair worked on legislation to help veterans transition to civilian life.