Politics

Photos From the Road: Beto and Willie for Texas

Roll Call photographer Bill Clark traveled to Austin for Saturday’s concert

Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, the Democrat challenging GOP Sen. Ted Cruz, joins Willie Nelson onstage in Austin on Saturday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

First, Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz had to contend with his Democratic challenger, Rep. Beto O’Rourke. But on Saturday, Cruz had to contend with O’Rourke and Willie Nelson.

Nelson headlined a a free concert and voter turnout rally in support of O’Rourke in the state capital of Austin, where the two appeared onstage together at one point to sing “On the Road Again.” 

O’Rourke, who once played bass in a punk rock band, has gained national attention in his race against Cruz, with impressive fundraising — that was more than twice what the Republican incumbent raised in the second quarter. He’s hoping to become the first Democrat to win a statewide race in Texas since 1994. 

In addition to the concert, which included several other musicians, O’Rourke gave an impassioned speech to his supporters waving and wearing, black signs and T-shirts with Beto in big white letters.

Meanwhile, uncertainty in Washington over the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination led to the postponing of the second debate between Cruz and O’Rourke that was scheduled to take place Sunday in Houston.

Here’s the concert in photos:

Workers move a neon Beto sign into place before the start of Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate from Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke's Turn out For Texas Rally, featuring a concert by Wille Nelson, in Austin, Texas on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Workers move a neon “Beto for Texas” sign into place before the start of the rally in Austin on Saturday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 29: Wille Nelson waves to the crowd aftwer his final song during Beto O'Rourke's Turn out For Texas Rally, featuring a concert by Wille Nelson, in Austin, Texas on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Nelson waves to the crowd after his final song during O’Rourke’s Turn out For Texas rally in Austin on Saturday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate from Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke speaks to the crowd at his Turn out For Texas Rally, featuring a concert by Wille Nelson, in Austin, Texas on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
O’Rourke speaks to the Austin crowd on Saturday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 29: Supporters arrive to stake out their spots for Rep. Beto O'Rourke's Turn out For Texas Rally, featuring a concert by Wille Nelson, in Austin, Texas on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Supporters arrive to stake out their spots for O’Rourke’s rally. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 29: Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate from Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke speaks to the crowd at his Turn out For Texas Rally, featuring a concert by Wille Nelson, in Austin, Texas on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
O’Rourke has gained national attention for his fundraising and enthusiastic crowds. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 29: Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate from Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke speaks to the crowd at his Turn out For Texas Rally, featuring a concert by Wille Nelson, in Austin, Texas on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
O’Rourke speaks to the crowd in Austin on Saturday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 29: Campaign volunteers work the crowd to register supporters to vote before the start of Rep. Beto O'Rourke's Turn out For Texas Rally, featuring a concert by Wille Nelson, in Austin, Texas on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Campaign volunteers work the Austin crowd to register supporters to vote. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Supporters stake out their spot for Rep. Beto O'Rourke's Turn out For Texas Rally, featuring a concert by Wille Nelson, in Austin, Texas on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Supporters stake out their spot for O’Rourke’s Turn out For Texas rally on Saturday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

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