HOUSTON, TX - MAY 27: Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke speaks to a crowd supporting gun control at Discovery Green across from the National Rifle Association Annual Meeting at the George R. Brown Convention Center, on May 27, 2022 in Houston, Texas. The NRA kicked off its annual convention in Houston on Friday, days after 19 students and two teachers died in a shooting in Uvalde, Texas. (Photo by Eric Thayer/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic Texas governor’s race candidate Beto O’Rourke is hoping the Uvalde school shooting can reset the contest in America’s largest red state. That’s despite Republican Gov. Greg Abbott twice previously winning election by landslides and gun culture looming larger in Texas than perhaps anywhere else. Following the massacre of 19 elementary school students and two teachers by a young man with an AR-15-style rifle last week, O’Rourke briefly seized the national political spotlight. O’Rourke crashed Abbott’s news conference and said the carnage was predictable. After a mass shooting in O’Rourke’s native El Paso in 2019, O’Rourke declared in a presidential debate, “Hell, yes, we’re gonna take your AR-15.”