Texas Rep. Will Hurd, the only black Republican in the House of Representatives, will not seek re-election, saying he plans to “serve my country in a different way.”
“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, who worked as an undercover CIA officer for more than nine years before running for office, said he plans to remain involved in politics, with an eye on “grow[ing] a Republican party that looks like America.”
Hurd, 41, is the sixth House Republican to announce retirement in the past two weeks, and the third from Texas to do so. Texas Reps. Mike Conaway and Pete Olson also said they will not run for office next year.
Hurd and Conaway’s retirements also leave holes on the House Intelligence Committee, where they both serve. A third Texas Republican on the panel, John Ratcliffe, was nominated this week to serve as director of national intelligence. (RELATED: Ratcliffe To Replace Coats As Director Of National Intelligence)
Hurd, who represents a largely Latino district that borders Mexico, has faced tough elections all throughout his career. He defeated his Democratic challenger in 2018 by just 900 votes.
Hurd is not considered a close ally of President Donald Trump. He has criticized Trump multiple times, including in a New York Times op-ed in which he accused the president of being too cozy with Russian President Vladimir Putin. He also criticized Trump over his remarks about four Democratic lawmakers known as “The Squad.” Trump said on Twitter that they should go back to their home countries.
“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 in an interview with The Washington Post that was published as he announced his retirement.
Hurd told the paper that he does plan to run for public office again, and that he will vote for Trump in 2020.
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