Beto O’Rourke is feeling golden after earning Harry Styles‘ endorsement. The Democrat, who is running against incumbent Greg Abbot in Texas’ gubernatorial race in the Nov. 8 general election, is sharing how he feels about the pop superstar showing his support during his Oct. 2 concert in Austin.
“To have his support and to get that push from him, it was really just wonderful,” O’Rourke told Hysteria podcast hosts Erin Ryan and Alyssa Mastromonaco on the episode that dropped Thursday (Oct. 13).
During that sold-out show in Austin — which the politician attended — the “As It Was” singer stood quietly in front of a microphone with his brown and black guitar. As shown on the massive screens in the Moody Center, Styles then started to gently rock the instrument back and forth. As the camera zooms in on the guitar, it focuses on a black-and-white sticker that read “Beto for Texas,” which Styles highlighted by repeatedly pointing to and drawing circles with his fingers around.
“So many young people who weren’t really plugged into this campaign — or really this race — or maybe didn’t know there was an election taking place in Texas or the issues … they’re taking notice,” O’Rourke continued about the impact Styles’ endorsement had. “They’re curious and they’re coming out and they’re getting registered to vote. So that was a huge boost, and I am so grateful to him.”
The gubernatorial hopeful added that he also had the chance to chat about his run for governor with the star after meeting Styles backstage. “He had watched the debate that we had a few days before,” the former presidential hopeful shared. “He said, ‘Brilliant job in the debate.'”
“How cool that he’s watching and paying attention,” O’Rourke added. “But I think he is for the same reason that we’re talking right now, that there’s probably no state that has a greater bearing on this country’s future on the issues that matter most: voting rights, reproductive healthcare freedom, gun violence. I mean, you name it, it is right here in Texas, and he’s well aware of that.”
Styles has been vocal on the issues of gun violence and reproductive rights. After the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, killed 19 young children and two teachers in May, the singer-songwriter announced that he had partnered with Everytown, a non-profit organization that works to end gun violence, and would be donating profits from his Love on Tour trek.
Then, during one of his six shows at the Moody Center in Austin, Styles spoke out on his stance regarding women’s reproductive rights. “No one can tell you what to do with your own body, it’s yours,” the star said, according to Fox 7 in Austin.
Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, Texas has triggered a near-total abortion ban with the Human Life Protection Act. Under this law, any physician who performs an abortion in the state could not only lose their medical license, but also face a potential life prison sentence and massive fine. Texas also has a law — Senate Bill 8 — that prohibits an abortion to be performed after a heartbeat is detected, which could be as early as six weeks.
Watch Beto O’Rourke talk about Harry Styles’ support below: