Beto O’Rourke and his wife, Amy Hoover Sanders O’Rourke, are incredibly close. In fact, Amy is frequently seen on the campaign trail with her husband, as they seek to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz in Texas. Beto is favored to win the Texas Democratic primary on Tuesday, March 6. If he does, he and Cruz will be facing off for the Texas Senate on November 6, 2018. Amy is dedicated to supporting her husband’s campaign, raising their three young children, and also working with nonprofits and advancing children’s education. Here’s everything you need to know about Amy Sanders O’Rourke.
1. Amy O’Rourke’s Grandfather Received a Bronze Star and Purple Heart in World War II
GettyRep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), with wife Amy Hoover Sanders
Amy is the daughter of Louann and William Sanders of El Paso, and she has four siblings: Richard, Pablo, Marianna, and Christina. Her maternal grandfather, Richard “Rickie” Harlan Feuille, was born in Mexico City in 1920. After his father died when he was six, his mother returned to El Paso to teach. Rickie was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart during World War II, and was a practicing lawyer in El Paso, including serving as the president of the El Paso Bar Association. Amy’s paternal grandfather was an advertising agency owner.
2. Her Father Sold a Real Estate Business to GE for at Least $2 Billion
GettyRep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), with wife Amy Hoover Sanders by his side, holds a fundraiser at the Austin Motel on April 1, 2017.
Amy’s father, William “Bill” Sanders, is known as a real estate mogul, according to El Paso Inc. He owns Verde Realty and has been highly successful in all his businesses. The book “The Richest Man in Town” noted that Bill Sanders began Verde after building a fortune in the real estate investment trust business. He founded LaSalle Partners and then Security Capital, one of the most successful REITs in the country, and later sold it to GE. (Some sources say he sold it for $2 billion and others say $5.4 billion.) Security Capital was one of the most influential real estate companies in history.
In 2006, while Beto was serving on the El Paso City Council, the Land Grab Opponents of El Paso filed an ethics complaint with the city, alleging Beto had a business relationship with the Paso del Norte Group, developers proposing a downtown revitalization plan. His company was providing Internet services to Paso del Norte, and Amy’s dad was a leader of the Paso del Norte Group. The city’s Ethics Review Commission dismissed the complaint in 2006.
3. Her Career Is Dedicated to Helping & Teaching Children
Twitter/Beto O’RourkeAmy and Beto O’Rourke
Amy’s the director of education development for La Fe Community Development Corporation. She’s also the executive director of the La Fe Preparatory charter school, which she helped start. In fact, Amy has always had a passion for teaching and helping children.
Amy majored in psychology at Williams College in Massachusetts and received a certificate in Spanish before moving to Guatemala City for a year. While there, she taught kindergarten at Colegio Americano de Guatemala. She left Guatemala in 2004, returning to El Paso to teach first and second grade. She also worked with the nonprofit, Centro de Salu Familiar La Fe in south El Paso for seven years.
4. She’s Nine Years Younger than Beto, and They Met After She Lived in Guatemala for a Year
Happy Valentine's Day, Amy! Wish I were with you. We'll celebrate together in 2019. pic.twitter.com/wU2tGcroWb
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) February 14, 2018
Amy and Beto met when she returned to El Paso in 2004 after living in Guatemala for a year. He took her on their first date to the Kentucky Club, a bar in Ciudad Juarez that may have invented the first margarita. She’s nine years younger than Beto. They were married in September 2005 and have three young children: Ulysses, Molly, and Henry.
In 1999 Beto co-founded Stanton Street Technology, an Internet services company that develops websites and software. Amy took over as president and owner in 2013 and was still running the business in March 2017. In May 2017, El Paso Inc. shared a story that Amy might have left Stanton so she could spend more time with Beto on the campaign trail. Amy’s LinkedIn page still lists her as President of Stanton Street.
5. She Wasn’t Thrilled About His House Run at First, But She’s the One Who Suggested He Run for Senate
Although Amy is a huge supporter of Beto’s political life, she wasn’t too keen on his work in D.C. at first. In 2010, Beto began considering a run against Reyes for Representative. When he first told Amy about his idea, she started crying and felt hurt by the idea, Texas Monthly reported. But two years later, she came around to the idea. However, Beto says his Senate race is the “first one where I felt like we both made the decision together.” In fact, after Donald Trump won the Presidency, it was Amy who first suggested Beto’s Senate run, KVUE reported. She told Beto: “I think you should go see if you can’t do something that’s more effective than what you’re doing now.”
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