A former CIA agent beat out a longtime Texas GOP stalwart in Tuesday’s run-off election to set-up a challenge for freshman Democratic Rep. Pete Gallego in the competitive 23rd District seat.
Will Hurd secured the Republican nomination for the 23rd Congressional District late Tuesday when The Associated Press declared the former clandestine services member the victor over veteran GOP politician and a Tea Party favorite Francisco “Quico” Canseco.
“I think this is a clear sign that the folks in this district are ready for something new. They're tired of career politicians,” Hurd said, according to The San Antonio Express-News. “Our message has been resonating in these 29 counties. They want someone to be (in Washington) who's their representative, not just their congressman.”
While both candidates ran on traditionally conservative platforms, Hurd was able to present himself as a fresh face.
Canseco, who spent two years inside the Washington Beltway, was ousted from his office when he lost to Gallego in 2012 when the rookie politician ran unopposed on the Democratic ticket. It was generally seen that Canseco ran a lackluster campaign this year and was plagued by questions traditionally aimed at incumbent candidates.
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During his short concession speech, Canseco said he was “proud of the positive campaign I maintained” and added that he was unsure if he would continue pursuing a career in politics.
“This is my passion. This was my passion. I think that maybe it's not for me, maybe it is for me,” he said. “It's not the right time to think about these things. I'm just licking my wounds from this campaign.”
Hurd now faces Gallego in November’s mid-term elections. Gallego is seen a formidable opponent who has raised more than $1.2 million for his reelection campaign in a district that could swing either Democrat or Republican.
The district spans from San Antonio to El Paso and stretches across 800 miles of the Texas-Mexico border. It is 66 percent Hispanic.