John A. Carlos II

Former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke addresses the South Carolina Democratic Party convention at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center on June 22, 2019. John A. Carlos II / Special to The Post and Courier

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke will be in Charleston Monday night where he will take questions at a town hall.

The event, which was announced Friday by his campaign, puts O'Rourke back in a familiar campaign setting: A college campus.

Since announcing his presidential bid, the former Texas congressman has made stops on college campuses a centerpiece of his early campaign strategy. O'Rourke's first visit to South Carolina in March included stops at both the University of South Carolina and S.C. State University, the state's only public historically black college or university.

But in the wake of the Aug. 3 shooting at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart that left 22 people dead, O'Rourke suspended his campaign for nearly two weeks. The shooting is one of the deadliest in U.S. history.

Stay up-to-date on which 2020 presidential candidates are visiting the Palmetto state with The Post and Courier's tracker. Continually updated as candidates campaign in South Carolina in the months leading up to the state’s February 2020 primary.

He rejoined the race Aug. 15 with a speech to his still-grieving hometown in which he called President Donald Trump morally unfit for a second term. Trump has since accused O'Rourke of exploiting tragedy to boost his campaign.

Monday's town hall will be his first visit back to South Carolina since the deadly shooting in his hometown of El Paso.

In South Carolina, the crucial first-in-the-South presidential primary state, polling shows O'Rourke is struggling to break out from the pool of more than 20 presidential candidates.

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A Post and Courier/Change Research Poll of likely South Carolina Democratic primary voters in mid-August found the Palmetto State favorites so far are former Vice President Joe Biden, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

The town hall will be at the Stern Center Garden, 71 George St., in downtown Charleston. Start time is 7 p.m.

The event is part of the College of Charleston's Bully Pulpit Series, a nonpartisan event series the college has hosted since 2008. The events are meant to foster political participation throughout the college community. 

The visit marks O'Rourke's fifth trip to South Carolina since launching his presidential campaign.

Reach Caitlin Byrd at 843-937-5590 and follow her on Twitter @MaryCaitlinByrd.

Political Reporter

Caitlin Byrd is a political reporter at The Post and Courier and author of the Palmetto Politics newsletter. Before moving to Charleston in 2016, her byline appeared in the Asheville Citizen-Times. To date, Byrd has won 17 awards for her work.

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