Texas Rep. Will Hurd, the only African-American Republican in the House of Representatives, announced Thursday night that he will not seek re-election in 2020.
“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 on Twitter.
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. https://t.co/GeZ4Hh264f
— Rep. Will Hurd (@HurdOnTheHill) August 2, 2019
Hurd now becomes the sixth GOP lawmaker and third House Republican from Texas to announce his retirement in the past two weeks.
Mike Conaway, another GOP lawmaker from Texas, announced Wednesday that he would not seek re-election. Pete Olson also announced his retirement last month.
Hurd said in statement that he left a job in the CIA to run for Congress in 2014 to help give the lower chamber leadership in areas related to intelligence and national security.
“While Congress has a role in these issues, so does the private sector and civil society,” he said. “After reflecting on how best to help our country address these challenges, I’m leaving the House of Representatives to help our country in a different way.”
Hurd added that he would continue to remain in politics to “help make sure the Republican Party looks like America.”
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee expressed optimism about flipping Hurd’s seat in 2020.
“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,” spokesperson Avery Jaffe said. “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 suggested in a statement that Hurd’s retirement stemmed from knowing “his time was up.”
“The simple facts are that hypocrite Trump Republican Will Hurd did not stand a chance in the 23rd congressional district,” Garcia said. “Texas Democrats are rising up everywhere, clearly Will Hurd knew his time was up.”
Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee Chair, pushed back against claims that Hurd’s district was shifting leftward.
“Contrary to what the 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,” Emmer said in a statement.