Beto O’Rourke arrives at his election night watch party holding his son Henry to the cheers of supporters at Oliver’s in downtown El Paso. Beto
Beto O'Rourke arrives at his election night watch party holding his son Henry to the cheers of supporters at Oliver's in downtown El Paso. Beto defeated Republican opponent Barbara Carrasco. (Mark Lambie/El Paso Times)

Former city Rep. Beto O'Rourke will take a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives this January after El Paso voters chose him as their District 16 representative.

O'Rourke defeated Republican Barbara Carrasco on Tuesday after beating U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes in the Democratic primary earlier this year.

"We've been running this campaign for 18 months and brought in hundreds of people who have worked for us and thousands of people who attended campaign events and debates," O'Rourke said Tuesday evening. "I also realize I'm just part of it. This is a community movement. There are some big expectations."

O'Rourke was talking about bond issues approved by voters Tuesday that are designed to provide funding for a Triple-A baseball stadium, build parks and support other quality of life issues.

"The overriding expectation is that El Paso is going to be a great city and we're going to make that happen," he said.

O'Rourke said El Paso's voice needs to be heard in Congress, where border issues have been neglected. He specifically mentioned speeding commerce on the international bridges and immigration reform.

"We really have to be leaders in these things," O'Rourke said. "This is the largest binational community in the world."

He said he believes he will find a cooperative partner in President Barack Obama, who was re-elected Tuesday night.

"I will tell him that an investment here on the U.S.-Mexico border is an investment in the United States," O'Rourke said.


Richard Dayoub, president of the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce, said he had already been talking to O'Rourke about the possibility of another base-closure and realignment round. Fort Bliss received more troops in the last round than any other post or base in the nation.

"We have to work together and make sure we don't give up any synergy, any momentum," said Dayoub, who attended O'Rourke's campaign party at Oliver's Restaurant in Downtown El Paso.

County Judge Veronica Escobar, who supported O'Rourke's campaign, said she was excited about Tuesday's election results.

"It just affirms to me that El Paso is ready to be a world-class city," Escobar said.

Chris Roberts may be reached at; 546-6136.