Just one month out from the election that might determine the future of many Texans’ rights, Harry Styles supported Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke for governor of Texas while performing on Sunday in Austin.
The British pop icon performed at the Moody Center in the nation’s capital to a nearly sold-out crowd while donning a “Beto for Texas” sticker on his guitar. During the performance, the cameras focused on the sticker as Harry made a gesture toward it, broadcasting it on the venue’s large screens to applause from the audience.
The crowd cheered even louder as the cameras moved to show O’Rourke grinning and waving a peace sign in the pit. On his Instagram Stories, the candidate shared videos of his interactions with supporters.
Styles has intervened in Texas politics before, including on Sunday. Following a mass massacre that claimed the lives of 19 children and two adults at an elementary school in Uvalde earlier this year, the musician teamed up with Everytown for Gun Safety for his Love on Tour, promising to donate more than $1 million in tour revenues to the organisation. Information on how audience members can register to vote was also shown on screens at his concert.
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Styles has previously spoken for reproductive rights at performances at the Moody Center in response to Texas’ nearly complete abortion prohibition. He told the crowd, “No one can tell you what to do with your own body. It belongs to you.
Willie Nelson, a popular country music performer, endorsed Beto O’Rourke at an Austin “Vote ‘Em Out” event only hours before Styles’ concert on Sunday. Following O’Rourke’s address on women’s rights and gun violence, Nelson performed a 15-minute set while sporting a shirt that supported the candidate. The tunes included his 2018 election song “Vote ‘Em Out,” as well as favourites including “Whiskey River” and “On the Road Again.”
In the general election on November 8th, the Democrat is running against the Republican incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott. O’Rourke is regarded as the most well-known Democrat in the state because he was a former congressman from Texas, the mayor of El Paso, and a candidate for both the Senate and the presidency. In the red state, 53% of respondents to a Quinnipiac survey conducted last week said they prefer Abbott, while 46% said they backed O’Rourke.
In an effort to win the governor’s election on a programme that emphasises reproductive rights, gun safety, voting rights, and immigration reform, the candidate has visited nearly every region of Texas. In their first debate for governor on Friday, O’Rourke and Abbott regularly accused one another of misleading Texas voters on important subjects.