Lone Black Republican in House Is Retiring

Hurd departure seen as sign of GOP pessimism
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2019 12:34 AM CDT
The Only Black Republican in the House Is Retiring
Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, left, and Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, right, speak as former special counsel Robert Mueller appears before a House Intelligence Committee hearing on his report on Russian election interference, on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Wednesday, July 24, 2019.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

After next year's election, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott might be the only black Republican in Congress. Rep. Will Hurd, the only black Republican in the House, has announced his retirement, the Hill reports. "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 tweeted Thursday night. The 41-year-old former CIA agent represents Texas' 23rd congressional district, a sprawling border district the size of New York state that has flipped from Republican to Democratic twice in the last 13 years. The Dallas Morning News calls the district, which narrowly re-elected Hurd last year, the "only true swing district in Texas."

Hurd was one of only four House Republicans who broke ranks to condemn President Trump's inflammatory tweets about Rep. Ilhan Omar and other minority Democrats. He disagreed with the president on other issues including the border wall, saying "building a 30-foot wall from sea to shining sea is the most expensive and least efficient way to do border security." Hurd is the seventh House Republican to announce their retirement at the end of this term of Congress, though his departure is seen as the most significant sign that GOP lawmakers are pessimistic about retaking the House, Mediaite notes. In last year's election, Hurd was the only House Republican to win in a district Hillary Clinton won in 2016. In another tweet Thursday, Hurd said he is going to stay "involved in politics to help make sure the Republican Party looks like America." (Read more House Republicans stories.)

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