Willie Nelson, Leon Bridges gather in Austin to support Beto O’Rourke, voter turnout


Joey Hadden / Hilltop Views

Beto O’Rourke speaks to thousands in Austin on Sept. 29 2018.

U.S. representative and democratic nominee Beto O’Rourke sang “On the Road Again” along side Willie Nelson last night for tens of thousands of Texans.

“This is a campaign of people, all people, and I don’t care about the differences between us,” O’Rourke said to the crowd. “If you are a republican, you’re in the right place. If you’re a democrat, you’re in the right place. If you’re an independent, you’re in the right place.”

The O’Rourke campaign held a free concert at Auditorium Shores featuring Joe Ely, Carrie Rodriguez, Tameca Jones, Leon Bridges and Willie Nelson. The event also featured speeches from democratic elected officials such as Austin Mayor Steve Adler, Representative Lloyd Doggett and of course O’Rourke himself.

“I think it’s a really amazing event because it’s not going to necessarily just attract people from the area; it’s going to attract people from all over Texas potentially, and it has really good potential to have positive vibes for everyone,” attendee Aubrey Miller said.

The event attracted senior Hailey Williams— a communications major from Houston. Williams said that she attended the event primarily to see Leon Bridges, but that she hoped to find out more about O’Rourke as well.

Williams is voting for O’Rourke in November because she wants to see a shift in Texas politics that she feels represents the current climate.

“People keep talking about how he’s the Texas of the future, but truthfully its the present version,” Williams said. “So many people have very bad stereotypes of Texas politics, and Texans in general based on what people think our majority wants in politics.”

When talking about the event itself, multiple St. Edward’s students agreed it was true to form for O’Rourke.

“I think it goes well with his brand for it to be so open, its not constricted,” Williams said. “I like that its really open and in the middle of the city. It’s not too far downtown for people from the south to not want to drive, and its not too far south to where people from the north don’t want to drive. It’s a nice center location.”

“I’m so glad that it’s so chill, and it’s organized very smoothly I think,” senior political science major Dakota Nichols said. Nichols is voting for O’Rourke because he values O’Rourke’s dedication to Texas.

“I think he’s going to talk about the upcoming deadline for voter registration and I think he’s going to thank everyone for being here,” Nichols predicted of O’Rourke’s speech while waiting for the event to begin.

Nichols was not wrong. O’Rourke talked about these things, as well as immigration, believing survivors, and appealing to people coming together as one rather than being divided by parties and beliefs.