Beto O’Rourke says he is running for US president

US Democrat Beto O’Rourke has said that he is running for president in 2020.

The former Texas congressman sent a text message to TV station KTSM on Wednesday afternoon confirming the news that he will seek the Democratic presidential nomination.

He wrote: “I’m really proud of what El Paso did and what El Paso represents. It’s a big part of why I’m running. This city is the best example of this country at its best.”

Mr O’Rourke was little-known outside his hometown of El Paso until he challenged Republican Senator Ted Cruz last year.

He got within three percentage points of upsetting Mr Cruz in the nation’s largest red state and shattered national fundraising records while using grassroots organising and social media savvy to mobilise young voters and minorities.

O'Rourke's announcement means his name joins the already crowded field for the Democrat's nomination to take on Donald Trump in 2020.

The group includes five sitting Senators: Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar.

Another Senator, New York's Kirsten Gillibrand has formed an exploratory committee with a view to joining the race for the White House.

Former Vice-President Joe Biden has yet to declare his candidacy but has topped all the major polls to date, according to Real Clear Politics .

- Press Association & Digital Desk

Most Read in World