Rep. Will Hurd of Texas, the only black Republican in the House, won’t seek re-election in 2020, he announced on Thursday, Aug. 1.
“I have made the decision to not seek re-election 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 announced.
Hurd’s retirement is the third by a Texas Republican in the past week and the ninth by a party incumbent, dealing a blow to GOP efforts to regain control of the House in next year’s election, according to the Washington Post.
Hurd is the rare GOP lawmaker who criticizes President Trump, but also repeats his earlier pledge to vote for the president if he’s the Republican nominee in 2020. He said Latinos, African Americans, and other groups would be receptive to conservative themes if they weren’t drowned in racially charged rhetoric.
Hurd, 41, said he was planning to run for elected office again, though he did not specify which office. In recent months, he has made or planned trips to New Hampshire, Iowa, and South Carolina, with an eye toward the 2024 Republican presidential calendar.
Hurd was first elected in 2014, defeating incumbent Democrat Pete Gallego by 2,400 votes. He beat Gallego in a 2016 rematch by 3,000 votes, then defeated Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones last year by just over 900 votes.
He said that if he decided to seek re-election, he believes he would have won in 2020. Ortiz Jones announced that she is looking for the seat again. The retirement of Hurd will probably draw other Democrats and Republicans to the race.