Some of us who backed Beto O’Rourke against Ted Cruz weren’t sure about a future in the White House. While he has been in D.C. in the House of Representatives, he has been from Washington, but not of it.

The 1980s film “The Candidate” with Robert Redford comes to mind. An idealist runs for president and finds that with each platform he pursues, he has to compromise on an unplanned-for level. He does win the election but has been so transformed that the last scene of the film has him pulling his campaign manager into a small office, closing the door and earnestly asking, “what do I do now?”

Those of us who met Beto did not see places that would adapt to having strings attached, nor would he be likely to surround himself with sycophants as Trump does (or tries to; the ones who think for themselves don’t last). He wouldn’t require ciphers like the Tweedledum and Tweedledee in our statehouse; our governor requires a district attorney and a lieutenant governor who operate within the limited boundaries of his vision for the state.

Texas needs an advocate for children and families, and it must be someone with the vision lacking now as well as indomitable, unlimited energy and commitment. It needs Beto, like a Zuckerberg with Facebook, to be his own unfettered designer and director of the program that would utilize divergent talent. The wider the range of race, age, background, socioeconomic status, the better. He’s proven that he can raise money. It’s likely that there are those who have it who are as aware of the roles of children in shaping our future as the present Texas triumvirate in the statehouse are oblivious.

No time to rest, Beto O’Rourke. There’s a mission there that needs you, and you know you have a team waiting.

Carmen Karston, Gainesville

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