FERNDALE, Mich. (FOX 2) - Looks like Michigan is high on the list of states-to-visit for presidential candidates.
Kicking off his campaign, Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke visited Michigan five days following his announcement to enter the race.
"We must get this democracy back," said O'Rourke.
Speaking to a collection of fans at the Hometown Heroes Coffee Shop in Center Line, MI, the representative from El Paso, TX spoke of the refugee crisis and restoring civility in politics. Despite the potential mudslinging that accompanies competing campaigns for the nation's highest office, O'Rourke said he wouldn't compound the incivility.
"The country in our lifetimes has never been so divided, the answer to those problems is not offering more of the same, but bringing out the best in people," he said.
That wasn't his only stop of the day however. Speaking on the importance of all kinds of education, he visited the Detroit Carpentry Apprentice in Ferndale afterwards.
"What if we helped ensure that high schools could coordiante with trade schools, with unions, with apprenticeships to begin the training necessary in high school," he said.
O'Rourke emphasized the importance of trades schools and apprenticeships. By paving ways for welding certifications or teaching skills in plumbing and carpentry, he said it would lay the groundwork for apsiring students.
"We need to be not just college-ready, but career-ready," he said.
O'Rourke came to fame during the 2018 midterms when he faced off against Ted Cruz for a seat in the Senate. While he came up short, the 46-year-old is now using is platform to springboard further into the national eye.
It might be working too. Not a week into campaigning, the novice-candidate already rasied a reported $6.1 million in donations. Whether the dollar sign behind the fundraising efforts turns into votes come primary season is a different question however.
"I hope his position on health care gets stronger," said one supporter, "and I hope that we can be more united and I think that he can do that for us."