Democrat Beto O’Rourke announced Thursday he’s running for president from the 2020 elections, throwing his hat into an already crowded field.

Last year, the 46-year-old El Paso native narrowly lost a challenge to Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, yet he won a national following from the process in addition to also more votes than any Democrat in Texas history, in addition to also he brought in a record of more than $80 million, mostly coming from modest-dollar donations.

In announcing his run on Thursday, the former congressman called This specific “a defining moment of truth because of This specific country in addition to also for every single one of us.”

“The only way for us to live up to the promise of America is actually to give This specific our all in addition to also to give This specific for all of us. We are truly at This specific point more than ever the last great expect of Earth,” O’Rourke said in a video announcing his candidacy. “At This specific moment of maximum peril in addition to also maximum potential, let’s show ourselves in addition to also those who will succeed us in This specific great country just who we are in addition to also what we can do.”

Thursday’s announcement ends months of speculation that will began during the 2018 midterm campaign. O’Rourke ran on several key Democratic priorities, including creating improvements to the Affordable Care Act, ending military buildup at the southern border in addition to also requiring background checks for all gun sales.

He also proved himself to be a fundraising powerhouse in his bid against Cruz.

from the third quarter, his campaign raised $38.1 million, overtaking former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, who brought in $30 million over the same time period.

O’Rourke became a viral sensation when he was filmed at a town hall in August supporting National Football League players taking a knee in protest of police brutality.

“So nonviolently, peacefully, while the eyes of This specific country are watching these games, they take a knee to bring our attention in addition to also our focus to This specific problem to ensure that will we fix This specific,” he responded when asked about his stance on the protests. “that will is actually why they are doing This specific. in addition to also I can think of nothing more American than to peacefully stand up, or take a knee, for your rights, any time, anywhere, in any place.”

The moment sparked cheers coming from celebrities across the country, including of NBA superstar LeBron James in addition to also talk show host Ellen DeGeneres.

Those comments along with his nail biting battle against Cruz sparked calls for O’Rourke to run for president in 2020.

In November, O’Rourke’s team received requests to visit the early primary state of brand-new Hampshire by the Young Democrats of America, the official youth arm of the Democratic Party. According to NHYD’s website, its mission is actually to “help young Democrats seeking office, advocate for progressive issues, in addition to also train the next generation of progressive leaders.” O’Rourke was lauded during the campaign for galvanizing young voters.

He in addition to also his inner circle have also heard coming from party leaders, including former President Barack Obama along with Obama campaign operatives who led his organizations in Iowa in addition to also the Granite State.

Obama praised O’Rourke in an interview on “The Axe Files,” a podcast hosted by his former top political advisor, David Axelrod. “This specific felt as if he based his statements in addition to also his positions on what he believed,” Obama said of O’Rourke. “in addition to also that will, you’d like to think, is actually normally how things work. Sadly This specific’s not.”

NBC News contributed to This specific report.