Politics & Policy

Will Hurd, Lone Black Republican in House, Will Not Seek Reelection

U.S. Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) outside the Capitol in Washington, U.S. February 13, 2019. (Erin Scott/File Photo/Reuters)

Representative Will Hurd of Texas, the only black Republican serving in the House, announced on Thursday that he will not seek reelection.

Hurd is the third Texas Republican in the last week, and the ninth GOP incumbent so far this term, to announce his retirement, a worrisome trend for Republican efforts to reclaim a legislative majority in 2020.

“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 on his website.

Hurd, whose district runs along the southern border, spoke out against President Trump’s attempts to build a border wall without Congressional approval. He was one of just 14 House Republicans who voted to override the president’s veto of legislation that would have blocked his declaration of a national emergency at the border.

A frequent critic of the president’s personally hostile approach, the Texas lawmaker attacked Trump in a Thursday interview with the Washington Post for his suggestion that Representative Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) and her three progressive, freshman allies should go back to their countries of origin.

“When you imply that because someone doesn’t look like you, in telling them to go back to Africa or wherever, you’re implying that they’re not an American and you’re implying that they have less worth than you,” Hurd said.

Hurd told the Post that he plans to run for elected office in the future but is, for the time being, focused on expanding the Republican party’s reach.

“I think I can help the country in a different way. I’m interested in pursuing my lifelong passions at that intersection of technology and national security,” said Hurd, a former CIA officer. “And I think I have an opportunity to help make sure the Republican Party looks like America.”

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