BREAKING: U.S. Rep. Will Hurd will not seek re-election

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By Abbey Livingston 

Texas Tribune 


WASHINGTON — The U.S. House's last black Republican member, Rep. Will Hurd of Helotes, announced Thursday that he is retiring from Congress. President Donald Trump's racist comments about elected officials weighed heavily on Hurd, who has often spoken out against the rhetoric.

In announcing his resignation on Twitter, he alluded to future plans, but provided no specifics.

"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," he wrote.

It was unclear as the news broke whether or not state or national Republicans have a back-up plan for a candidate in this district. Several state and national Republican operatives reached out to the Tribune to react to the news. Nearly all of the commentary involved highly explicit language.

It is apparent that this reelection would have been difficult.

Veteran Gina Ortiz Jones nearly defeated Hurd last cycle, and Democrats were emphatic that they would put all of their muscle in helping her capture this district, which has become something of a white whale for the party.

The 23rd District was the only seat in the current congressional map that was intentionally drawn to be competitive. Since the last redistricting process, other seats have become competitive amid changing demographics and backlash against Trump.

The Hurd retirement is a massive blow to the morale of Republicans who care about winning back the U.S. House. In his three terms in Congress, he was the model of a vulnerable congressman who defied political gravity and eked out victories each election night. He did this by raising enormous amounts of money for himself and for the House GOP campaign committee; and by crisscrossing the sprawling district that stretches from San Antonio to El Paso.

A source close to the campaign stressed to the Tribune that Hurd is going to continue to be a presence in national politics down the road. He was the only Texas Republican in the House who voted to condemn Trump's recent racist remarks about four congresswoman last month. 

Hurd became the only black Republican in the U.S. House after U.S. Rep. Mia Love of Utah lost reelection last year.


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