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Will Hurd, sole black Republican in House, won't seek re-election

By
Darryl Coote
Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, announced that he wouldn't be seeking reelection with 17 months left in his term. months Photo courtesy of Will Hurd/Website
Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, announced that he wouldn't be seeking reelection with 17 months left in his term. months Photo courtesy of Will Hurd/Website

Aug. 2 (UPI) -- Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, a three-term Congressman and the only black Republican in the House of Representatives, announced he will not seek re-election in 2020.

"I have made the decision to not seek re-election for the 23rd 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 said.

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Hurd announced his decision on Twitter, stating he had left a job working undercover for the Central Intelligence Agency to help lead Congress on intelligence and national security matters and now he was leaving the government after reflecting on how best he could help the country.

"I've taken a conservative message to places that don't often hear it," the former CIA agent said. "I'm going to [stay] involved in politics to help make sure the Republican Party looks like America."

Hurd's departure is the third by a House Republican from Texas within the week while nine party incumbents have also stepped down.

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Hurd, who said he would vote for President Donald Trump in the 2020 election, is one of few Republicans to publicly criticize him.

Last month, Hurd was one of four Republicans to vote on the House Democratic effort to condemn comments by the president that many viewed as being derogatory about four Congresswomen of color.

In mid-July, Trump said Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley should "go back and help fix the totally broken crime-infested places from which they came."

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Hurd called the tweets "racist and xenophobic" in an interview with CNN.

"They're also inaccurate," he said. "The four women he's referring to are actually citizens of the United States. Three of the four were born here. It's also behavior that's unbecoming of the leader of the free world."

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said Republicans in Texas, such as Hurd, are deciding to drop out of the 2020 race out of fear of losing their seats.

"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 202," DCCC spokesman Avery Jaffe said in a statement. "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."

Texas Democratic Party Executive Director Manny Garcia said Hurd's retirement was the result of him knowing he couldn't win a fourth term.

"Clearly, Will Hurd knew his time was up," Garcia said in a statement. "As we have said before, we wouldn't be surprised if there were more retirements."

Meanwhile, National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Emmer offered Hurd thanks for his service to the country.

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"Will is a patriot and I wish him all the best," he said. "Contrary to what pundits will tell you, this is an R+1 district and we will fight tooth and nail to ensure it remains in Republican hands in 2020."

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