Rep. Will Hurd, only black Republican in House, won't seek reelection
Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, the lone black Republican in the House of Representatives, announced Thursday he will not seek reelection.
Hurd's pending retirement is the latest in a rash of Texas of them by GOP lawmakers who've decided to leave Congress.
"After reflecting on how best to help our country address these challenges, I have made the decision to not seek reelection for the 23rd Congressional District of Texas in order to pursue opportunities outside the halls of Congress to solve problems at the nexus between technology and national security," Hurd said in a statement.
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A former undercover CIA officer, Hurd, 41, said he plans to "pursue opportunities outside the halls of Congress to solve problems at the nexus between technology and national security." He is the third Texas Republican to announce his retirement in recent weeks.
Reps. Mike Conway and Pete Olson are also retreating from public life. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said Hurd is one of a number of Texas Republicans fearful of losing their seats over their support of President Trump.
“Like we said last week, Republicans across the Lone Star State are terrified of losing their seats in 2020 and Will Hurd just joined the list," a DCCC statement said. "Hurd has been a lockstep supporter of the worst of Washington Republicans’ policies and he sealed his fate when he pledged to vote for Donald Trump in 2020. Democrats will win this seat and if Will Hurd doesn’t believe he can keep his job in a changing Texas, his colleagues must be having second thoughts too.”
Hurd was first elected in 2014 after leaving his job at the CIA to give Congress new leadership on intelligence and national security matters, he said.
His congressional district runs 820 miles along the U.S.-Mexico border from San Antonio to El Paso. He narrowly won in 2016 and 2018 in a district carried by Hillary Clinton.
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The district has flipped several times between Democrats and Republicans, according to The New York Times. With Hurd's retirement, the district leans Democratic, according to Crystal Ball House ratings.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Hurd said he plans to vote for Trump in 2020. He said conservative themes were being drowned out by racially-charged rhetoric, making it harder to attract Hispanics, African-Americans and other groups.
While he supports Trump, the three-term congressman has broken with the president. He opposes Trump's border wall proposal and his national emergency declaration to divert Pentagon funds for wall construction, The Post reported.
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Last month, Hurd was one of a handful of Republicans to vote to condemn Trump's attacks on four Democratic minority congresswomen.
He said he would like to remain involved in politics to "help make sure the Republican Party looks like America."