Published: Sun, September 16, 2018
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Willie Nelson to Headline Beto O'Rourke Rally in Texas

Willie Nelson to Headline Beto O'Rourke Rally in Texas

Country music legend Willie Nelson has enraged some of his most conservative fans by announcing plans to play at a huge rally on behalf of Beto O'Rourke, the Democratic insurgent threatening an election upset in Texas. The report was posted to Nelson's Facebook page on Thursday.

Willie Nelson may be getting up there in years, but there's always time for firsts.

"My wife Annie and I have met and spoken with Beto and we share his concern for the direction things are headed", Nelson said in a statement obtained by The Post.

"Amy and I have had the wonderful opportunity to talk with Willie and Annie about the kind of future we want for our state when everything we care about is on the line", O'Rourke says.

The outrage comes as O'Rourke and Cruz are entangled in a tight Senate race, described by the incumbent as a "dogfight", that has gained national spotlight in recent months.

The surprisingly controversial Beto event will take place September 29 at Austin's Auditorium Shores, where Willie will perform alongside Joe Ely, Carrie Rodriguez, Tameca Jones and Nelson's sons, Lukas and Micah Nelson.

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On Nelson's Facebook page, people began to accuse him of believing in what they called the "socialist" views of O'Rourke; one fan wrote that he doesn't support "socialist commies". "You would pick a socialist agenda and an Anti American fellow like BETO, shame on you".

From campaigning to legalize marijuana to supporting the LGBT movement, Nelson has scarcely hidden his progressive credentials during his long career.

However, several others quickly denounced Nelson on social media.

Nelson, 85, has not been receiving warm notes from all fans for his very public support of O'Rourke.

President Donald Trump won the Lone Star State by 9 points over Hillary Clinton in 2016 after Republican Mitt Romney defeated Barack Obama by 16 points in 2012.

Some were quick to throw their support behind Nelson, who said O'Rourke "embodies what is special about Texas".

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