MANCHESTER, NH – Rep. Will Hurd of Texas says he’s on a mission to help Republicans try and win back the House of Representatives next year.
“We lost 40 Republican seats in the last election and if want to take back the House, that path comes through New England,” Hurd told Fox News during a quick trip to New Hampshire on Friday.
“With the unique role that New Hampshire plays in our upcoming elections, I want to help build the infrastructure and make sure we’re articulating our values to as many people as we possibly can,” the three term congressman emphasized.
But for Hurd, considered an up-and-comer in the GOP, parachuting into to the first-in-the-nation presidential primary state also sparks some speculation that the former CIA officer may have national designs in 2024.
Asked about the possibility of a White House run in four years, Hurd said “it’s very nice for people to think that that’s even in the cards.”
But he quickly added that “my goal right now is to help build the party and make sure the Republican Party, our future is strong, and we are growing that party.”
Hurd spoke with Fox News after sitting down with Victoria Sullivan, a former Republican state representative who’s hoping to oust the Democratic mayor in this year’s election in Manchester, the state’s largest city. Hurd also met with GOP Gov. Chris Sununu, and later he headlined a Rockingham County Republican event.
Longtime New Hampshire based GOP consultant David Carney, who advised then-Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s 2012 presidential campaign as well as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s 2014 and 2018 election victories, noted that by coming to the Granite State, Hurd “clearly has some inkling” of a potential White House run down the road.
Carney described Hurd as “a really hardworking member of Congress” who represents an extremely large district that tends to favor the Democrats.
In his interview with Fox News, Hurd spotlighted the Republican Party’s issues when it comes to appealing to younger voters, saying “it’s scary to me that if you’re under the age of 40 in a lot of places, you have to whisper that you’re a Republican. Most of the people that brought me to the party were inspired by Ronald Reagan when they were in their twenties.”
He described Texas as a “purple state” and touted that “I know how to win in tough races. I have a 71 percent Latino district. It’s a district that was one by Hillary Clinton by four points in 2016.”
Hurd, 41, is the only black Republican in the House. He said it’s an absolute “priority” to increase that number.
“If the Republican Party is shrinking, the only way we’re going to grow the party is by going into communities that haven’t seen a Republican before and talk about our values,” he said.
“We need to be able to broaden our base of support,” Hurd highlighted. “We have to make sure we’re our taking our message to different people.”
Asked if President Trump helps that cause, Hurd quickly responded “I focus on what I do, and I focus on bringing on an aspirational message.”
Hurd’s district includes more than 800 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border, the most of any of the 435 districts in the House. And on the combustible issue of illegal immigration, Hurd also distanced himself from the Republican president’s mission to extend the border wall.
Hurd emphasized there’s no need for a wall along the entire southern border.
“Every mile of the border is different than every other mile. And so in some places a physical barrier makes sense. Where there’s urban to urban contact,” Hurd explained. “But for all 2,000 miles, it doesn’t. Building a wall from sea to shining sea is the most expensive and least effective way to do this. And the president has agreed with that notion. He’s stated that publicly.”
But he agreed with Trump that there’s a crisis, saying, “what we’re dealing with at the border right now is a crisis. There’s no question about it."
While he doesn’t line up at all times with Trump, Hurd also was happy to take aim at the perceived leftward shift in the Democratic Party.
He emphasized that “the way we achieve real prosperity and have everyone move up the economic ladder is through free markets, not socialism.”