More than 10,000 people attended Beto O’Rourke’s election night party at Southwest University Park, home of the El Paso Chihuahuas Triple-A baseball team. The night included musical performances by a number of El Paso area musicians, including Jim Ward of At the Drive-in and Sparta. Gates opened as the polls closed at 7 p.m., and a raucous crowd filled the stadium.
The mood turned gloomy shortly after 8 p.m. local time as national news networks began calling the race for Ted Cruz. At about 9:15 p.m., O’Rourke came to the WestStar Bank Club at the stadium, where his family and friends were gathering, and cheers erupted. A huge scrum built around O’Rourke and he moved through the crowd, hugging almost all of the two hundred or so people gathered. “I love you.” “I’m proud of you,” he said repeatedly as he embraced people. Many in the room were crying. At 10 p.m., O’Rourke took the stage on the ballpark infield and gave an emotional twelve-minute speech that had the crowd roaring.