John Cook, 18, came to the rally with friends from the East Bay city of Clayton. He said he’s “getting there,” but has “pretty much made up my mind” to support O’Rourke.
Asked what he likes about him, Cook said, “He’s a really respectful person. Just the way he talks. He really would appeal to Republicans, he’s moderate, whereas a lot of the other Democrats are really far to the left.”
Ned Jeter, a 64-year-old retired postman from Pleasant Hill, arrived early enough to get a seat on the edge of the stage. "I’m concerned about the country,” Jeter said. “We’ve got to make a change. I’m here to listen and take it from there.”
Lizette Golindo of San Francisco said she supports O’Rourke because when he ran for the Senate in Texas, “he was including me. Other candidates run against blacks to get the white vote. I feel like he’s on my side,” Golindo said.
O'Rourke was introduced by North Bay Rep. Jared Huffman, who noted that not only did he room with O'Rourke in Washington, D.C., but "he was my landlord."
"I have seen Beto O'Rourke in many quiet moments with no cameras, just him and me, a burrito and a beer," Huffman said. "I am here to confirm that Beto O'Rourke in those quiet moments is the same guy you see being interviewed by Oprah or onstage with Willie Nelson."
Rep. Huffman described O'Rourke as "authentic, reflective, honest and kind to people from all walks of life."