O’Rourke says he and wife descended from slave owners, has ‘more personal connection’ to slavery

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke revealed on Twitter Sunday that he and his wife Amy are both descended from slave owners.

“Something that we’ve been talking about in town hall meetings – the legacy of slavery in the United States – now has a much more personal connection,” O’Rourke said. “I was recently given documents showing that both Amy and I are descended from people who owned slaves.”

O’Rourke included a link to a medium.com article he wrote titled “Rose and Eliza,” in reference to two slaves one his distance relatives owned.

“A paternal great-great-great grandfather of mine, Andrew Cowan Jasper, owned these two women in the 1850s,” O’Rourke wrote.

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.

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. (AP)

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

O’Rourke noted 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.”

AS DEMOCRATS DEBATE REPARATIONS FOR SLAVERY, POLLS SUGGEST AMERICANS ARE NOT CONVINCED

O’Rourke’s disclosure comes as discussions of reparations for slavery have become a hot-button issue among Democratic candidates for the 2020 presidential election.

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Last month House Democrats held a hearing on reparations for slavery for the first time in more than a decade. The panel’s aim was to “examine, through open and constructive discourse, the legacy of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.”

Fox News Gerren Keith Gaynor and The Associated Press contributed to this report.