Beto O’Rourke says he had relative who owned slaves

Politics
Beto O'Rourke

Democratic presidential candidate, former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke speaks at the Manchester Democrats annual Potluck Picnic at Oak Park in Manchester, N.H., Saturday, July 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke says he was recently given documents showing that both he and his wife are descended from people who owned slaves.

In a post Sunday night for the website Medium, the former Texas congressman writes that the documents showed that one of his paternal great-great-great grandfathers owned two women in the 1850s.

He says records also showed that one ancestor of his wife, Amy, owned slaves while another was part of the Confederate Army.

O’Rourke notes that he’s spoken about the legacy of slavery in the U.S. while campaigning, but that such discussions now have “a much more personal connection.”

His revelation follows recent reports that census records show two of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s great-great-grandfathers were slave owners.

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