Source: Beto O’Rourke not challenging John Cornyn in 2020

U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-El Paso, a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, shakes hands with supporters before speaking at a campaign stop at The Social Club on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, in Edinburg. (Joel Martinez | jmartinez@themonitor.com)

PATRICK SVITEK and ABBY LIVINGSTON | TEXAS TRIBUNE

Beto O’Rourke is not running for U.S. Senate in 2020, a person familiar with his thinking told The Texas Tribune.

The Dallas Morning News first reported Wednesday that O’Rourke, a Democrat, would not take on U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, after the former El Paso congressman’s closer-than-expected loss last year to the state’s junior senator, Ted Cruz.

O’Rourke has since been encouraged to run for president and has said he hopes to have a 2020 decision by the end of the month — which is Thursday.

“Amy and I have made a decision about how we can best serve our country,” O’Rourke said in a statement. “We are excited to share it with everyone soon.”

Amid the heightened 2020 speculation, O’Rourke is expected to make a public appearance Wednesday evening in El Paso. He is scheduled to kick off the first meeting of the local chapter of Moms Demand Action, the anti-gun violence group. The chapter was started by his 2018 campaign manager, Jody Casey.

O’Rourke’s decision not to challenge Cornyn comes after weeks of declining to rule it out amid encouragement from some Texas Democrats who saw it as a more winnable race for him than the White House contest.

However, O’Rourke never publicly said he was specifically considering a Senate run — something he has said about a presidential bid.