Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) has announced he will not seek reelection in his swing district along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Hurd is the only black Republican in the House, and the third Texas Republican to retire this week.
He has been known to occasionally criticize President Trump, most recently over Trump’s racist tweets against four Democratic congresswomen of color.
Hurd’s former district includes 820 miles along the U.S.-Mexico border, making him the only GOP member of Congress to represent the southern border.
He denounced Trump’s border wall proposition, describing it as a “third-century solution to a 21st-century problem.”
Hurd intends to move forward in his career to “solve problems at the nexus between technology and national security.”
He has been a longtime advocate of using technology to advance national security, including AI, quantum computing and cybersecurity.
Hurd had also been growing more vocal about his frustration with the current direction of the party.
“The party is not growing in some of the largest parts of our country,” he said in a June speech to the Log Cabin Republicans, a conservative L.G.B.T. group. “Why is that? I’ll tell you.”
“Don’t be a racist,” Hurd went on to say. “Don’t be a misogynist, right? Don’t be a homophobe. These are real basic things that we all should learn when we were in kindergarten.”
His departure is the ninth by a Republican incumbent, heightening the stakes for the GOP to recapture control of the House in 2020.
Hours after Hurd’s announcement, the nonpartisan Cook Political Report’s prediction for Hurd’s district had been moved to “leaning Democrat” from “tossup.”
The Texas district represented by Pete Olson, another Republican who recently announced his retirement, is also now rated as “tossup
Rep. Martha Roby (R-Ala.) announced her impending retirement last week, potentially leaving Republicans with as few as 11 women in the House after 2020.
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